CUSTOMERS had a “miracle escape” when the roof of a hair salon came crashing down.
About eight people were inside Hair Philosophy in Martin Terrace, Pallion, when the ceiling collapsed on Friday afternoon.
Emergency services attended just after 1pm, with police forced to smash their way into the salon to help those trapped inside.
Only one person, who sustained minor injuries, was taken to hospital.
Staff and clients were taken into neighbouring business Barnet’s Barbers and Heroes hairdressing salon.
One lady who helped the injured said: “They were “just happy to have made it out. I think they were all really shook up and lost for words.
“Someone said they heard a loud noise and that was it.
“I think they were all in shock. They were just relieved to be out.”
Another lady, who also did not want to be identified, said: “They were just pleased to be alive.”
A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service said it was a “miracle” nobody was seriously injured.
She said: “Initially, it was thought at about seven people were trapped inside and that was the case. But they had a miracle escape.
“Only one person was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
“Given the scale of the accident the people inside have been extremely fortunate – given that it was a hairdressers and that there are chemicals and other liquids about.”
Neighbours lined the streets as firefighters, being advised by an underground search and rescue officer, secured the site.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service group manager, Peter Iveson, said: “We are amazed that no one was more seriously injured.”
Two appliances from Sunderland Central Fire Station, two from Farringdon, and one heavy rescue unit from Hebburn Fire Station attended the accident.
Officers fitted timber beams to secure the building, and continued to cordon off the area until two building surveyors from Sunderland City Council attended to assess the site.