A family – a woman and two children – were taken to hospital after panels from the ceiling fell on to them whilst in the supermarket in Ashton under Lyne on Thursday 15 July 2021.

It has not yet been confirmed what caused the collapse, but Asda said they are working with authorities while investigations are underway.

Shoppers were evacuated and an eye-witness said: “The aluminium panels landed on the baby in the seat on the trolley. The baby boy was around 4 weeks old”.

In a statement, an Asda spokesperson said: “A small section of the ceiling in our Ashton under Lyne store collapsed yesterday evening.

“Following the incident, a family was taken to hospital as a precaution, and we are pleased to hear they are all ok.

“The store reopened as normal this morning (Friday 16 July) and we are continuing to work with the relevant authorities on this matter.”

FIS Technical Director Joe Cilia said:

“Thankfully we see relatively few instances like this now as guidance and working practice has evolved.

There can be many reasons for a failure, commonly the fixing to the structure, but collapse can also be linked to moisture, incorrect access and replacement of panels above the ceiling during maintenance and ancillary works or simply using the ceiling to suspend additional weight that it was not designed to take.

It is vital that, when working in, on or around a suspended ceiling that building owners refer to the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Manual and ensure that work is carried out by competent individuals and that they adhere to manufacturers guidance when to comes to maintaining the integrity and inspecting the ceiling.

FIS provides a range of guidance for specifiers and contractors to support safety in the sector, this is all backed by expert helplines that we encourage clients, contractors and specifiers to utilise.  As with any instance of this nature we remain on hand to interrogate the particulars of this case and ensure that the sector continues to learn and that all future accidents are avoided.”

Image source: Mancheser Evening News