CHESTER City Baths have been closed after part of the roof came off leading to swimmers having to be evacuated from the pool.
No injuries were reported during the incident, which took place in the small Pacific pool at the 113-year-old Union Street baths on Monday morning.
Chester Swimming Association staff quickly moved people to safety, closing the pool to users until further notice.
The larger Atlantic pool has been closed for major refurbishment for almost a year following the council’s £1.3 million investment to return the historic baths to their former glory.
Special planning consent has been granted for work including the entire replacement of the “Lantern Type” top windows to maintain the historic appearance of the Victorian structure.
Work began last year to remedy corrosion to the steel supports of the roof – and should have transferred to the Pacific Pool in June.
Cheshire West and Chester Council, which owns the venue, has now announced the temporary closure of the Pacific pool for safety inspections following what it described as “the detachment of a roof lining panel”.
Cllr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and economy, apologised for the closure of both baths but said the health and safety of those using the facility must be paramount.
“We will be carrying out inspections to assess the condition of the roof panels to see if it is feasible to reopen the pool before the planned refurbishment due to start on the completion of the Atlantic Pool in June.
He said if user safety could not be guaranteed without major repairs, arrangements would be made to start the full refurbishment early.
“This will mean the inevitable suspension of swimming pending the opening of the first refurbished pool,” he said.