‘One moment he was there and the next he was gone’ - son speaks of horrific moment his dad fell 30ft through broken skylight

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The son of a roofer has spoken of the horrific moment he watched his dad plummet 30ft through a broken skylight.

Blackpool tradesman Paul Jones, 48, was fixing a leak on the roof of a building on Poulton Industrial Estate with his son Declan when the skylight gave way beneath his feet.

The pair had just started work at Deltec Industries Limited, a tool-making company, at around 9.30am on Monday.

Mr Jones suffered ‘life-threatening’ injuries to his head, back, legs and eye and has now undergone major surgery.

Declan, 20, said: “One moment he was there and the next he was gone.

“He’s quite heavy. His weight must have taken him through. I was in shock. I shouted down to him but there was no answer.

“For a moment I was scared he was dead, but I felt relieved when I found out he was still breathing. I rushed straight down. I just wanted to get him to the hospital.”

Mr Jones, who lives with his son at Kingscote Drive, Layton, was taken by ambulance to Royal Preston Hospital, which specialises in serious head traumas, with his son by his side.

Declan said: “He looked badly hurt. His eye looked like a balloon and his face was swollen. He didn’t look like himself at all.”

Police desrcibed Mr Jones’ injuries as ‘life threatening’. He underwent a gruelling eight-hour operation on Wednesday.

Declan, who often helps out at his dad’s company Paul Jones Roofing, said: “That first day we weren’t sure if he was going to make it.

“Now doctors say he’s stablilised and that they’re pleased with his progress.”

Declan says he has spent around five hours a night at his father’s hospital bedside since the accident.

He said: “He’s still sedated and can’t speak with us. He can’t even open his eyes. But it gives me peace of mind to just be there and see him getting better. He looks much better than he did. I’ve had loads of people telling me they hope he gets well soon, especially people from the trade.

“A lot of people looked up to him. It doesn’t feel right being up on the roofs without him. I miss him bossing me about.”

Declan added that he did not blame Deltec for the incident.

“It was just a normal day. We have fixed leaks hundreds of times before. Nobody could have expected it. It was a complete accident.

“I think I might keep him off the roofs from now on. He’s getting a bit old for that sort of thing. He needs to take it a bit easier.”

A spokesman from the Health and Safety Eexecutive (HSE) said it had been informed of the incident and that officials were making ‘preliminary enquiries’.