AN elderly man has been injured after being struck by part of a hotel roof as strangers worked together to free him.

The incident reportedly happened at around 9.45am outside the Bournemouth Sands Hotel in Westbourne, where witnesses have described a large piece of the hotel's roof rip free – landing on a parked car and striking a man in the process.

Witness Alex Sanderson was in a property opposite the hotel and was alerted to the incident after hearing a “very loud bang”.

He told the Echo: “After hearing the crash I went to look outside and saw this massive section of roofing, sort of a black felt material, which had smashed onto a car and brought a man down as well.

Bournemouth Echo: Damaged section of roof at Bournemouth Sands Hotel during Storm Eunice.Damaged section of roof at Bournemouth Sands Hotel during Storm Eunice.

“The man was awake but seemed pretty injured and it took about five minutes to get him into a wheelchair, there was a lot of commotion and a member of the hotel staff seemed very upset by it. It was pretty scary.”

Alex’s friend Elisa Del Sette said she was “shocked” when she arrived at the scene and says numerous strangers rushed to the elderly man to help cut him free.

She said: “Everyone came out to tried to get the man away from the roofing and clean up the debris. People came out to move their cars to give everyone more room and hotel workers helped too.”

Bournemouth Echo: Damaged car after roof collapse at Bournemouth Sands Hotel. Picture: Elisa Del SetteDamaged car after roof collapse at Bournemouth Sands Hotel. Picture: Elisa Del Sette

She added someone from the hotel had gone onto or near the roof to assess the damage and that the car has since been moved.

Paul Harper, sales and marketing director at Daish’s Holidays, said: “Our Bournemouth Sands Hotel has experienced some roof damage caused by the current conditions of Storm Eunice.

“Sadly, a guest outside the hotel experienced an injury to his ankle as a result of falling debris. The hotel team helped to assist the gentlemen and have accompanied him to hospital following the accident. We all wish him well and will remain in contact to provide any necessary assistance and support.

“We are organising the roof repairs as a priority once the conditions are safe to do so.”

A spokesperson for the South Western Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 9.56am about an incident in Westbourne, which was resolved without our attendance.”

Dorset Police said they did not attend the incident.