Tot lucky to be alive after balcony horror

Tot lucky to be alive after balcony horror

Carlene Milling with her daughter Sophia

The balcony gap Sophia slipped through

First published in News Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A THREE-year-old girl had a lucky escape after she fell through a gap on the balcony of her family’s first-floor flat.

Sophia Milling was found dangling by her head after she slipped through a gap between the door to the balcony and the safety railings.

The accident happened at the family’s home in Collingwood Mews, Bemerton Heath, after Sophia dropped her dummy through the gap and fell as she was trying the retrieve it.

Now her mother, Carlene, has hit out at housing association Aster for failing to fix the dangerous problem.

“My son wasn’t feeling very well so I was trying to look after him, I turned round and saw that my daughter was dangling through the railings by her head,”

said Mrs Milling.

“We had to have our neighbours under the window ready to catch her in case she fell through.

“If she had been any smaller then she probably wouldn’t be here today.”

A terrified Mrs Milling managed to pull Sophia back into the flat and luckily the tot wasn’t badly hurt.

However she is frightened a similar accident could happen in the future and, with the help of their local parish councillors, the family contacted both Wiltshire Council and Aster Housing to see if they could fix the problem.

However, they were told by a number of housing officials who visited the flat that it met housing regulations and they were unable to do anything about it.

Mrs Milling added: “We had two housing officers visit and we were told that, as the house met building regulations, we would have to pay for any alterations to the flat ourselves.

“We have been on the housing register to move for two years but have been told there are no other flats that are available.

“We are worried sick that the children might fall through the gap and it is causing us great anxiety.”

A spokesman for Aster said they planned to revisit Mrs Milling’s flat to see if they could do anything to improve the safety of the railing.

“We’re working with a customer living in one of our properties at Collingwood Mews, Bemerton Heath, regarding some problems she’s been experiencing with her balcony.

“The safety and well-being of all our customers is always our top priority. The balcony has been inspected and is fully compliant with current building regulations.

“However, we’re in the process of arranging a further inspection of the balcony to see if any additional improvements can be made.”

Comments (7)

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11:27am Thu 14 Aug 14

Jennifer Williams says...

Erm, sorry but this comes down to looking after your children. it is not always somebody else's fault.
Erm, sorry but this comes down to looking after your children. it is not always somebody else's fault. Jennifer Williams
  • Score: 36

2:10pm Thu 14 Aug 14

PerplexedofSalisbury says...

“We are worried sick that the children might fall through the gap and it is causing us great anxiety.” I'm no architect, but I suggest closing the window/door, or buying a stair guard for the doorway. Problem solved. Someone more cynical than me might draw your attention to the preceding line: “We have been on the housing register to move for two years but have been told there are no other flats that are available." but I would tell them not to be so uncharitable. Hang on in there!
“We are worried sick that the children might fall through the gap and it is causing us great anxiety.” I'm no architect, but I suggest closing the window/door, or buying a stair guard for the doorway. Problem solved. Someone more cynical than me might draw your attention to the preceding line: “We have been on the housing register to move for two years but have been told there are no other flats that are available." but I would tell them not to be so uncharitable. Hang on in there! PerplexedofSalisbury
  • Score: 31

5:55pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Modcons says...

As usual in this country it's always someone else's fault. Housing association flat maybe she is using this as an excuse to move. It would not surprise me these days.
As usual in this country it's always someone else's fault. Housing association flat maybe she is using this as an excuse to move. It would not surprise me these days. Modcons
  • Score: 21

5:59pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Modcons says...

Call Jeremy Kyle for a lie detector test. He will sort it out.?
Call Jeremy Kyle for a lie detector test. He will sort it out.? Modcons
  • Score: 9

4:54pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Male 70+ says...

Or dare I say it Modcons .........and give me compensation !!!
Or dare I say it Modcons .........and give me compensation !!! Male 70+
  • Score: 8

8:45pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Grampie says...

Modcons wrote:
As usual in this country it's always someone else's fault. Housing association flat maybe she is using this as an excuse to move. It would not surprise me these days.
I wouldn't want to bring my kids up in a flat, but it is better than some of the temporary accommodation that is on offer.

Construct more houses for older people, so that young families can move in, but don't use the despicable bedroom tax to kick people out of their homes.
[quote][p][bold]Modcons[/bold] wrote: As usual in this country it's always someone else's fault. Housing association flat maybe she is using this as an excuse to move. It would not surprise me these days.[/p][/quote]I wouldn't want to bring my kids up in a flat, but it is better than some of the temporary accommodation that is on offer. Construct more houses for older people, so that young families can move in, but don't use the despicable bedroom tax to kick people out of their homes. Grampie
  • Score: 0

9:35pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Roosmama says...

Surprised anyone can afford the rent on any Aster property! Double the rent of the council property's.
Surprised anyone can afford the rent on any Aster property! Double the rent of the council property's. Roosmama
  • Score: 2

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