Boy, 13, trapped after falling 30ft from shopping centre roof while on the phone to his mum

Firefighters had to break through the cladding, plasterboard, breezeblocks and external bricks to reach the boy (County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue)

Firefighters were forced to smash down a wall in a shopping centre in County Durham to free a 13-year-old boy who had fallen 30ft from a roof.

The teenager was stuck in a 1.6ft-wide opening for three hours after falling at the Thames Centre, in Newton Aycliffe, at around 4.30pm on Monday.

Firefighters said the boy was on the phone to his mother when the accident happened.

The teenager is now recovering at Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital after breaking his ankle and authorities said he was “lucky to be alive”.

The boy was taken to hospital after being freed (County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue)

Incident commander Rob Cherrie, of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, said his team used cutters, grinders and hammers to free the boy.

He added the firefighters had to break through cladding, plasterboard, breezeblocks and external bricks.

The commander said they gave the “very cold and tired” boy oxygen and tried to reassure him during the rescue.

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Incident commander Cherrie said: “Firefighters used a range of equipment to cut through an external wall to free the boy, while reassuring him and trying to keep him calm during this distressing incident.

“The teenager has now been transported to hospital by the ambulance service.

“This was an extremely difficult rescue and I would like to commend the emergency services at the scene who worked very quickly and tirelessly to rescue the teenager from the cavity.”

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