Emergency services were locked in negotiations with a man on a roof in Oldham town centre for at least seven hours today. Police and fire services were called to Yorkshire Street at around 6.30am.
Witnesses said the distressed man was hurling tiles at police. He was escorted down safely just after 1:30pm, following seven hours of negotiations before being assessed by paramedics on the scene.
Residents reacted with shock and concern after a large section of Yorkshire Street was cordoned off. The street has since fully reopened to cars and pedestrians. “A man on the roof? That’s really bad, that. That’s worrying,” one local business owner remarked after he was unable to access his shop due to the scene.
Other residents told the Manchester Evening New s that the man was a “local lad” who has a history with substance abuse. Russell Stansfield, who works for Oldham Street Angels, said they were aware of the man’s identity, and that he was not homeless but had a troubled past with drugs.
Jasmine lives in a flat nearby with her partner. She told the M.E.N that her partner saw the scene this morning when he left for work at about 7am – when he was reportedly throwing slates from the roof at police.
Robbie’s wife owns the Old Bank pub, which was inside the cordon. He said he has a small roof terrace at the back of the pub, where he had seen the man since about 5.30am.
“He was knocking on [one man’s] window asking him to open the window and be let in,” he said. The man was later seen accepting food and tea through a window. Robbie confirmed that the man was throwing slates from the roof.
There was a clear sigh of relief across the cordon after the man was seen safely on the ground, accompanied by paramedics and police officers.
An earlier statement issued by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said: “At around 6.30am on Sunday 8 May, fire crews were called to an incident concerning the welfare of an individual on Bow Street, Oldham. Fire engines from Oldham, Heywood, Chadderton, Mossley and Ashton stations, as well as a hydraulic platform from Oldham and a technical rescue unit from Ashton, quickly attended the scene.”
Fire crews and police officers both confirmed the man had been helped to safety at about 1.30pm, and was assessed by paramedics at the scene.
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