Young pair '˜dicing with death' in giant 30m storm drain

A pair of urban explorers have been warned they are '˜dicing with death' after climbing into a huge underground construction site.

Friday, 8th April 2016, 4:43 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2016, 2:03 pm
Will also inside the drain

Alex Clarkson, 20 from Thornton posted pictures on a Facebook of himself and friend Will Farrow, 18, climbing into the enormous storm drain currently being built at Anchorsholme Park.

The pair climbed over safety hoardings, without permission from United Utilities - the firm behind the project - climbing 30 feet to take pictures at the bottom of the huge concrete pit.

The actions of the two thrill-seekers have today been slammed with United Utilities warning of legal action against anyone illegally found to have entered any of their works.

Alex poses for a picture

The pictures were taken on Tuesday evening inside the structure, which once completed will be capable of holding 12,000 cubic metres of storm water which would otherwise be flushed straight into the sea.

United Utilities were quick to condemn the actions of the pair, making it clear they were putting lives at risk.

A spokesman said: “Anyone accessing these underground structures or sewers without the proper training or safety equipment is not only dicing with death, they could also put the general public or our employees at risk.

“This activity is illegal and we take it very seriously - we may take legal action.”

But Alex, who says he has undertaken a number of other high-risk stunts, including climbing cranes on construction sites in Germany, insists the only intention was to explore.

He said: “We’ve been doing this kind of thing for a while now.

“It’s not the first time we’ve been onto a site like this.

“It’s definitely a thrill.

Alex poses for a picture

“This is the biggest thing we’ve done on the Fylde coast, you don’t come across many structures of this kind.

“It’s just about a sense of adventure. We just thought we’d have a nosey.”

Both Alex and Will are parcour enthusiasts - an acrobatic sport which involves quickly negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing.

The storm drain is being built on one of the sites they previously used to practice.

“We just wanted to see,” said Alex.

“It’s about four storeys deep and it’s an amazing space.

“There’s certainly nothing else like it around here.

“We don’t plan where we want to go. This was a spur of the moment thing.”

And Alex made it clear he doesn’t feel in any danger on the construction site.

He said: “There are ladders which are being used by workmen every day.

“If they are safe for the workers they’ll be safe for us.”

Others do not agree.

Blackpool Councillor Paul Galley, who represents Anchorsholme, was astounded.

He said: “I’m lost for words.

“This is basically an underground skyscraper.

“You just don’t do it.

“It’s not big, it’s not clever and there are other, better ways of getting your kicks.

“It’s 30 metres deep.

“You wouldn’t, you shouldn’t contemplate it.

“It is a construction site, there’s all sorts of equipment down there.

“You’re putting yourself, your friends and others at risk.”

Urban exploring is a new phenomenon in which people, often illegally, access unusual and dangerous locations.

They often film themselves carrying out their ‘exploration’ - with skyscrapers, cranes and construction sites favourite targets.

Last year footage was released from inside the abandoned Camelot theme park near Charnock Richard following which security was stepped up at the site.