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28 October 2019 12:40

Carlisle Lake District Airport Commercial aviation Carlisle

A major emergency rescue operation is underway after a man was spotted hanging upside from one of the country's tallest brick chimneys. The man, who appeared to be shirtless, is thought to be hanging by one of his feet from the top of a ladder attached to the 290ft Dixon's Chimney in the centre of Carlisle, Cumbria. Locals raised the alarm at around 3am after the man, who is thought to have been there most of the night, was spotted at the top of the structure. A police drone was sent up to check on the man's condition and a Coastguard helicopter was deployed at 8.15am. A MAN is trapped upside down at the top of a 270ft chimney this morning - sparking a huge helicopter rescue mission in Carlisle.

The man's legs can be seen dangling at the top of Dixon's Chimney with locals claiming they heard "wailing" last night. 3 The man can be seen hanging onto the edge of the chimney Credit: naim_asghar 3 The man's legs could be seen sticking out of the chimney in Carlisle Credit: Twitter/Tim Graham And the rescue mission is now underway with footage appearing to show his right leg stuck between the structure's wall and the metal ladder attached to it Police this morning said they had spoken to the man using a drone after a helicopter rescue attempt failed. John McVay, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Area Manager said emergency services had been called to the scene just after 2.20am today. He said: "This is a very complex and difficult process given the obvious dangers to the man and the extreme difficulty in gaining access to him in a way which will keep him and emergency services safe. "I can assure the public that the emergency services are working tirelessly and effectively together to resolve this issues safely for all and that the protection of life is our first priority." He also appealed for anyone who had a cherry picker taller than 295ft within Cumbria to contact police.

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It is understood that the first helicopter rescue attempt had to be abandoned because of the man's location and the aircraft's powerful downdraft that could have dislodged him. Roads around the structure, built in 1836 and a prominent local landmark, have been closed and home evacuated. Local Scott Mattinson, 24, told the News and Star: "We heard a noise at about 10.30pm last night - some sort of wailing; like something in distress. "We thought nothing of it at the time." But he said about 1am he and his fiancee Nadene, 25, woke up to hear "shouting". MOST READ IN NEWS 'ASSAULT' RAP Teenagers charged after 'schoolboy attack' in Scots McDonald's EYE FOR AN EYE Killer who beheaded baby with tot's mum sentenced to death by firing squad 'DO IT RIGHT' Scots mum terminally ill with MND urges people not to take life for granted TRACED Glasgow OAP who vanished overnight with dog in freezing conditions found boozer row Scots landlord let pub rot for 11yrs rather than sell to a 'shower of pr***s' Exclusive JUST SAY 'YES' SNP telly ad offers struggling actors £600 to say they now back independence The road is currently closed at Stanhope Road, Charlotte Street and Shaddongate where it meets Bridge Street (A595) The public are asked to avoid the area. 3 Authorities have closed off the area as they try to get him out Credit: Twitter/Tim Graham