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Plank 'snapped under' jogger whose foot went through Cromer pier

PUBLISHED: 15:09 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:04 20 December 2018

The injuries sustained by Karen Kitchener who was jogging on Cromer Pier when her foot went through a rotten piece of wood. Photo: Jamie Honeywood/Karen Kitchener

The injuries sustained by Karen Kitchener who was jogging on Cromer Pier when her foot went through a rotten piece of wood. Photo: Jamie Honeywood/Karen Kitchener

Jamie Honeywood/Karen Kitchener

A woman whose foot went through Cromer pier after a plank "cracked and broke" while she was running has said she was appalled at the council's reaction.

Karen Kitchener was jogging on Cromer Pier when her foot went through a rotten piece of wood. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodKaren Kitchener was jogging on Cromer Pier when her foot went through a rotten piece of wood. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Karen Kitchener, 56, was jogging on the pier on Sunday, December 16, when a plank gave way beneath her, leaving her “flat on the floor”.

She said: “I’m not sure how I feel about going on there again.”

The council say safety is of paramount importance to them.

Mrs Kitchener, from Welwyn, in Hertfordshire, said: “I’ve got Type 2 diabetes which I manage with diet and exercise, so I run a lot.

Karen Kitchener's leg after she put her foot through the pier. Photo: Karen KitchenerKaren Kitchener's leg after she put her foot through the pier. Photo: Karen Kitchener

“On Sunday morning, the right side of the theatre was closed so I thought I’d run to the left.

“The next thing I knew I was flat on the floor with my foot through the pier - it was scary.”

Mrs Kitchener added: “My left foot went through and my right side took the impact.

“Fortunately I had on thermal running tights and thick socks so my foot wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I felt really stupid.”

Karen Kitchener was jogging on Cromer Pier when her foot went through a rotten piece of wood. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodKaren Kitchener was jogging on Cromer Pier when her foot went through a rotten piece of wood. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The mother-of-two got to her feet, and called to some workmen who were on the pier.

She said: “They came and put large metal barriers around it and took me into the theatre bar to enter it into the accident book.”

But Mrs Kitchener said North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) told her the theatre did not inform them of what had happened, and she is still waiting to hear from a health and safety officer.

On Tuesday, (Dec 18) she said: “I’m appalled there’s a hole there still. If it had been a child or someone older they could have been very severely injured.”

The hole in Cromer pier. Photo: Karen KitchenerThe hole in Cromer pier. Photo: Karen Kitchener

She said when she spoke to the council on Monday (Dec 17), she was told “planks do fail from time to time and [the pier] hadn’t had a plank fail for 18 months.”

She added: “I wonder if, when there are large numbers of people on the pier, it is going to give way.

“My foot went onto the plank and it cracked and broke. I don’t understand how it deteriorated enough to snap under me.”

A spokesman for NNDC said: “The damaged plank was fenced off and inaccessible to the public pending investigation and repair.

Karen Kitchener was jogging on Cromer Pier when her foot went through a rotten piece of wood. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodKaren Kitchener was jogging on Cromer Pier when her foot went through a rotten piece of wood. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“It was replaced on Tuesday, December 18.

“The safety and enjoyment of the pier for the many thousands who visit is of paramount importance to the council.”

They added the pier and decking are inspected fortnightly in high season and monthly during winter, with additional inspection carried out before special events.

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