Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Curious climb canal safety fence

The view looking south towards Leek tunnel, by Julie Arnold Waterway Images
The embankment could give way again, British Waterways has warned

Hundreds of people are reported to have crossed safety barriers to look at a breach in a canal in Staffordshire.

British Waterways said a pub landlord had reported customers scaling security fencing to see a 15m (50ft) hole in Caldon Canal.

Part of the canal's towpath and bank collapsed in Leek on 12 November.

British Waterways said: "We're asking people to respect the barriers as we try to assess why the breach happened as there could be further landslides."

A spokesman for British Waterways, which manages the UK's canal network, said: "People are just wanting to get a little bit closer to the void and they are going to great lengths to do that, by physically climbing over five or six feet high metal fencing.

"But there is still a risk. It's a working site and although we've had no reports of injury yet, there's still the potential that people could be hit by material falling down on them from the embankment."

British Waterways is putting up safety posters on the barriers with a picture of the breach to save people from climbing down to see it for themselves.



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