‘People were running around screaming’: Panic after chef ‘chops fingers off’ in South Woodford restaurant

Shoppers in South Woodford witnessed a gruesome accident on Friday when a chef reportedly chopped off his fingers.

The incident at the Wood Oven BBQ was seen by shocked passers-by and workers in George Lane around 10.45am.

A doctor from nearby Glebelands Practice rushed to help the man until ambulances arrived at the scene.

The injured man, thought to be in his 40s, was taken to Whipps Cross hospital in an ambulance.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said he was taken to hospital “as a priority” with the “serious” injury.

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A shopkeeper, who did not want to be identified, was working nearby when the accident happened.

She said: “Passers-by were running around screaming and going into local shops saying to call an ambulance.

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“The man had all his fingers gone and part of the thumb too.

“The restaurant closed over the weekend saying it was for refurbishments but they were opened on Monday as normal.”

Roland Saunders, a regular diner at the Wood Oven BBQ, said the restaurant is “very popular”.

He added: “It’s an open kitchen so people must have seen whatever happened easily.”

Redbridge Council health and safety officers have visited the restaurant.

A spokesman said: “The restaurant owner agreed to close over the weekend while work, to make the equipment and affected areas involved in the accident safe, were undertaken to make sure it was suitable to reopen to the public.

“An officer inspected the premises before it reopened on Monday and was satisfied all the necessary work had been carried out.”

The Recorder has attempted to contact the Wood Oven BBQ several times this week but staff have not commented on the accident.

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