Jeremy Hunt in Olympic bell mishap

 

Jeremy Hunt narrowly avoided injuring bystanders today when a bell he was ringing flew off its handle during an Olympics celebration.

The Culture Secretary was ringing his bell in his right hand on the deck of HMS Belfast when the brass become detached from its wooden handle and shot through the air above the deck of the Second World War cruiser.

He watched helplessly as the bell disappeared among a group of Olympics fans, his face betraying the fear and horror that a bystander maybe seriously hurt.

But fortunately the bell missed hitting anyone, with a clearly relieved Mr Hunt caught on a Sky News camera saying: "Oh, oh dear! Are you all right? Health and safety!

"Are you OK? There we are, disaster averted."

The Belfast is permanently moored on the Thames near London's Tower Bridge, with Mr Hunt aboard as part of the All the Bells celebration as people across the country rang bells to mark the start of the 2012 Games.

The Tory minister later made light of the near-miss, comparing it with a scene from the BBC comedy Twenty Twelve.

He wrote on Twitter: "Oops bell broke taking part in Martin Creed's ringing in of the Games...no one hurt but classic #twentytwelve moment."

Mr Hunt later told the BBC: "I was ringing a bell in a very excited way and it collapsed in my hand and went flying off.

"I had my very own 2012 moment. It was a clanger."

PA

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