A RESCUE operation was launched after reports of a man trapped in a derelict hotel.

Police, fire and ambulance crews battled to get into the former Balmoral Hotel in Valkyrie Road, Westcliff.

The drama unfolded when police received reports of a man seen hanging inside the building. Police clambered on scaffolding and smashed down hoardings.

Paramedics managed to restart the man’s heart.

Harriett Hoppe, 65, said: “There were four ambulances, two fire engines, police cars and the air ambulance overhead for at least 20 minutes.

“There was a policeman on some scaffolding between my flat and the hotel.

“It was awful to know someone was in there. A lot of the services were just having to sit around and wait because they could not get in.”

Phil Woodberry, who lives opposite, is an unofficial eyes and ears for the owners of the building who are putting together a planning application to turn it into flats.

He said: “The police had to kick in some of the hoarding.”

Southend Standard:

The man, who is understood to live nearby, was brought out on a stretcher and taken to Southend Hospital.

The East of England Ambulance Service sent its hazardous area response team. A spokesman said: “The team is trained to go into and work in these locations “There was one patient inside who had gone into cardiac arrest.

“Paramedics were able to shock the patient and get a response.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: “At 3.40pm on Friday, following concerns for the welfare of a man at the property, officers found a man in his thirties with a serious injury.”

Neither police or the ambulance service would confirm if the man had tried to hang himself or comment on his condition