Restaurateur’s shock at boy’s fall from Southsea roof

Emergency services in Elm Grove, Southsea. Firefighters helped to rescue a five-year-old who fell between two walls. ''''The rear of T&J Mahal where the child fell''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113237-916)
Emergency services in Elm Grove, Southsea. Firefighters helped to rescue a five-year-old who fell between two walls. ''''The rear of T&J Mahal where the child fell''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113237-916)
Melody Chinese restaurant in Commercial Road, Portsmouth

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THE owner of a restaurant has spoken of his shock after a five-year-old boy plunged off a low roof behind his business.

Mosud Ahmed owns the T&J Mahal Indian restaurant in Elm Grove, Southsea, and was stunned to discover the young child had trapped his head between two metal bins after taking a 10ft tumble.

He said it was not the first time youngsters have been spotted playing on rooftops around the area.

‘We see them running and jumping from one roof to the next,’ he said. ‘My waiter has had to go out and chase them away.

‘At one point he even went to speak to the parents of some of the children, because it was getting out of hand.

‘How do they get up there? I couldn’t believe it when I read in The News that he was only five years old.

‘I thought he must be older to climb up there.’

The boy was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital on Sunday afternoon after the accident, where his injuries were confirmed to be serious but not life threatening.

Before his fall, the boy was seen on top of the roof with several other children and it has now emerged that residents in nearby Belmont Grove raised concerns to Hampshire Constabulary and Portsmouth City Council before the accident.

Mr Ahmed said: ‘No one wants youngsters climbing on their business like that, but what can we do?

‘It is up to the parents to stop them going up there, before there is another accident.’

Firefighters were called to help rescue the youngster at 12.20pm and almost had to break down the back door of the restaurant to reach him – but instead managed to lift him over a fence.