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Petition to close quarry near Ledbury gathers pace
12:38pm Friday 16th August 2013 in News
MORE than 2,000 people have backed a campaign calling for the closure of a dangerous quarry near Ledbury - where two young men died in the space of a week earlier this summer.
Russell O’Neill, aged 17, of Worcester, died at Gullet Quarry on July 6.
Then, just six days later, 22-year-old Justas Juzenas, from Ross-on-Wye, died while swimming at the same beauty spot.
The double tragedy brought the total number of deaths at the quarry to five since 1995 and prompted Mr O’Neill’s brother, Christopher, to set up a Facebook site calling for the water to be closed off to swimmers.
To date, more than 2,200 people have pledged their support to the petition.
Malvern Hills Conservators, which owns the quarry, has commissioned a report by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and is expecting to discover its findings in the next few days.
Since the deaths, it has worked with RoSPA and the likes of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service to put extra safety measures in place.
These include extra signs warning of the fatalities and reminding people it is illegal to swim in the quarry.
Others are marked with the postcode and grid reference of the site to make it easier for anyone reporting an accident to provide an accurate location.
Extra warden patrols also continue at the site, particularly on hot days when it has historically attracted the largest number of swimmers.
Conservators director Stephen Bound said the initial measures have had an impact while the weather has also aided efforts to keep people out of the dangerous waters.
“Obviously the weather has been cooler the last couple of weeks and that makes a big impact,”
he said. “Even when we see a drop just from 25C to 20C it makes a big difference.
“We have been carrying on with an increased warden presence which is also helping.”
He said the organisation was aware of the petition and that discussions with RoSPA over anything else that needs to be done will take place once the initial
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