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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
World Cup big screen blown over
Big screen falling

A huge TV screen showing England's World Cup games in the centre of Birmingham has collapsed in high winds.

The digital screen made up of LED cubes at Millennium Point's Fan Park - one of Europe's largest - tipped over on Tuesday afternoon. No-one was hurt.

It was designed to fall backwards so the LED cubes did not smash.

A smaller screen was brought in by organisers for the Sweden v England game, which 3,000 fans saw ending in a 2-2 draw.

The larger screen, measuring 6m high by 10m wide (20ft by 30ft) is held up by scaffolding and the area surrounding it had already been cordoned off because of fears about it collapsing in the high winds.

'Twisted scaffolding'

David Nelson, who was filming for the council at Fan Park, said: "I was setting my camera up and everyone was looking at the screen and thinking 'that is going to go'.

"There were groans around the ground when it fell. It is all twisted scaffolding now."

It's business as usual and obviously we want everyone to turn up
Kevin Brown, Birmingham City Council

Officials said the screen had been lowered to the ground on Monday night as high winds were forecast.

Just minutes before the accident 20 workers had been working on the structure but the area was evacuated just before the screen came down.

One of the workers at the site, Ashley Clarke, said: "I was standing at the side and the engineers said 'That's going to go in a minute, it's swaying in the wind'.

"We watched it going forward and back and it just fell down and hit the floor."

Safety concerns

Birmingham City Council, which operates the screen, said workers were in the process of securing the structure but before they could act a "freak gust of wind" toppled the screen.

Two thousand people had already bought tickets to watch the England v Sweden game on the screen.

Kevin Brown, head of events at the city council, said: "It's business as usual and obviously we want everyone to turn up and have a good time.

Big screen collapsed
The big screen was described as "twisted scaffolding"

"We did notice some movement in the screen earlier in the day but before we could take remedial action it toppled over.

"Safety is our primary concern and we will be working closely with technicians and safety officers to ensure the continuation of what has been a great success so far."

Sponsors T-mobile said fans attending the England v Sweden game will be given free tickets for both second round matches on Saturday and Sunday to be screened at the park.

The city council decided to limit the screening of England games to the Fan Park site because of fears of violence.

Trouble erupted at open air screenings in the city during the Euro 2004 tournament.

Last week nearly 3,000 football fans turned up to see England's match against Trinidad and Tobago.

Fans are charged 3.50 to watch England games at the park.

Fans bitter over match screening
12 Jun 06 |  West Midlands
City bans World Cup free screens
15 Mar 06 |  West Midlands

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