ELDERLY residents had a lucky escape when a glass dome shattered and fell on them as they were playing cards in a north Hampshire sheltered housing scheme.

Tony Kinge, 67, who lives in a residential flat at Bishopswood Court, in Hangar Road, Tadley, was playing his regular card game with fellow residents when the glass cascaded around their ears.

The pensioner said: “We heard this cracking noise and thought it was the doors in the lounge, but about 45 minutes later we noticed things coming down from above us and didn’t realise at first that it was pieces of glass.

“I was walloped on the back of the head, fell over and scrambled up. There was glass everywhere, and the back of my head was all wet.”

Mr Kinge had several cuts which paramedics cleaned up and glued on the scene, and he suffered two chronic headaches in the days that followed, but did not have to go to hospital.

Mr Kinge said the dome in the central lounge at Bishopswood Court – which belongs to Sentinel Housing Association – had been leaking.

He said: “One of the other players was 91. if she had been hit there could have been a funeral.”

Tim Part, care and support manager at Sentinel, said: “We are shocked by this incident.

“We’ve called in a specialist contractor, who has inspected the glazed roof and told us that this type of safety glass can, in rare circumstances, sometimes shatter for no known reason, due to the way it’s made.”

He added that the area had been closed off for residents’ safety while repair work is carried out.