The bell-ringer was lowered 80 feet by firefighters
Ian Bowman, 51, suffered serious injuries when he was pulled upward from a bell tower and crashed back down again as the massive bell at Worcester Cathedral swung.
Mr Bowman, part of a touring group from Widecombe in Devon, had climbed more than 200 steps with fellow ringers to reach their post in the bell tower for evensong on Saturday.
After he was pulled upward by the rope, he was smashed back on to the floor of the Ringing Room in the bell tower, suffering a head injury and a suspected fractured back.
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He got his foot caught when a rope was moving and he went up in the air a couple of feet and landed awkwardly
Firefighters, trained in recovering casualties from the tower which was built in 1374, lowered him on a special stretcher through a trap-door to the ground.
About 20 firefighters from Malvern and Worcester, including a team specialising in rope rescues, took part in the operation which lasted almost two hours during the evensong service.
Mr Bowman was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital but was later released after treatment.
Ian Bowman suffered serious injuries
Yesterday Mr Bowman was back at home in Devon and said: “I am waiting for a call to see if I have fractured my spine or not. I might have to go to Torbay hospital if that is the case and that is quite a drive away but I am not sure yet. I want to get my health sorted before I talk about what happened.”
Yesterday Mark Regan, ringing master at Worcester Cathedral, described the shocking accident.
He said: “Ian Bowman, an experienced ringer from Devon, got his foot caught in a rope and he fell and hurt his head.
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Firefighters lowered him on a special stretcher
“He got his foot caught when a rope was moving and he went up in the air a couple of feet and landed awkwardly.
“He is fine, emergency services were brilliant. They had been here to practise, so they knew what to do. It was quite dramatic.”
Mr Regan said it was “very reassuring” to know the firefighters were trained to deal with an emergency situation in parts of the cathedral that are difficult to reach.
Mr Bowman was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital
He added: “It is not a safety issue, it is clearly a freak accident. It has nothing to do with the safety of bell ringing.”
Group Commander Grant Wills, of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue, tweeted: “Technical and challenging job to rescue one male from bell tower, professional crews a credit to the community.”
Mr Bowman is a regular bell-ringer in his village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor, famous for its Church of Saint Pancras, dubbed the “Cathedral of the Moor” because of its magnificent 120ft bell tower.
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