A MAN has died while walking near Darwen Tower, police have confirmed.

It was thought the man, aged 54 and from Blackburn, had a medical episode. Police are not treating the incident as suspicious.

Bowland Pennine and Bolton mountain rescue teams, as well as the ambulance service, were called out at around 2.10pm on Thursday.

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A police spokesman said: “The man was thought to have had a heart attack.”

An air ambulance was initially called to the scene but was not needed.

Peter McGuire, who was walking up towards the tower at the time, said: “I noticed several emergency service vehicles heading up that way.

“Then a helicopter arrived and landed on the moors.

“I don’t know what happened but presumed someone had fallen or something.”

An spokesman for the ambulance service said an ambulance was called to the scene at 2.10pm after reports a man had taken ill and collapsed.

Calls have been made to put a defibrillator, which uses an electrical shock to reset the electrical state of the heart so it can beat again, at the tower entrance.

Cllr Roy Davies, who represents Darwen East on Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “This is obviously upsetting for the family and everyone who knew him.

“I think it would be a good idea to have a defibrillator there — but those devices have to be somewhere where people can see them.

“I would hate to see the expensive device installed and the next day it's in bits because someone has destroyed it.

“Then all the hard work going into putting one in would be for nothing.

“It’s difficult to decide where to put them.

“You cannot put one on every corner just like you can’t put a policeman on every street.

“There’s currently proposals in place to put one on the main road in Darwen.”