Stanley Christmas tree removed amidst shock fears

An electronic Christmas tree that cost over £10,000 had to be taken down in County Durham over fears that someone could be electrocuted.

Crowds turned out to see the blue-lit frost-effect tree at Saturday's switch-on but the tree was dismantled 24 hours later over fears about its 240v power supply.

Concerns were raised that, although the tree was not wired incorrectly, anyone tampering with the display could get a massive shock as guidelines suggest a maximum voltage for an unsupervised public display of just 24v - ten times less than that of the tree in Stanley.

There are plans to have the power supply altered so that the Christmas tree can be re-erected.

Stanley Town Council had chosen the model of tree as part of a £15,000 investment in a programme of events around Christmas to boost visitor numbers.

"It was not a danger when lit up.

However, if anybody interfered with it, swung on the branches or the junction boxes when they were messing about, they could get a big shock.

"There is a junction box on each branch."

– Councillor Car Marshall, Durham County Council