POLICE say an industrial scale 90-metre cherry picker to assist with a major rescue operation in Carlisle will arrive on the scene shortly.

A range of rescue methods have been tried so far today as emergency services deal with the ongoing incident where a man is trapped at height at Dixon’s Chimney.

Officers hope it may be able to be used to draw what is an extremely complex and challenging rescue to a safe conclusion for all.

A police spokesman said: "The number one priority in this rescue – as in all incidents – is the protection of life and safety.

"While there has been no contact with the man for some time it is being treated as a rescue.

A multi-agency rescue operation is underway after a man was reported to have become trapped just after 2.20am today."

Superintendent Matt Kennerley added: “We are looking at various options to rescue this man safely.

“So far the multi-agency response has seen us utilise technology including drones.

“A helicopter has been used to try to rescue the man and efforts have been made to try to drop a technical rescue team onto the chimney to rescue him.

“These two attempts have not been successful so far due to concerns over how securely the man is attached to the ladder at the top of the chimney – and the potential danger of backdrafts from the helicopter.

“These concerns over how securely he is attached have also prevented us from sending someone up the ladder from the bottom.

"The ladder is also damaged.

“Ladders used by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will be mobilised to see if they can assist while we are awaiting the arrival of the cherry picker.

“This is an extremely complex and rare incident and requires the specialisms of all the agencies to work together.

“We are very concerned about the man involved and all those involved in this operation are working tirelessly to bring this to a safe conclusion for all.

“Police officers are with the man’s family offering them support throughout this.”

Road closures are in place at Stanhope Road, Charlotte Street and Shaddongate where it meets Bridge Street (A595).

The public are being reminded to avoid the area.

Supt Kennerley added: “We would like to thank the public for their patience as we work to safely rescue this man.

“We are doing all we can to minimise disruption to the public and businesses.”