BINGO bosses today defended their decision to allow a game to carry on - as paramedics battled to save the life of a man who had suffered a heart attack.
Players at Mecca Bingo, in Middleway Park, off Guild Street, were instructed to carry on dabbing their cards as the man, thought to be in his 60s, lay motionless after collapsing under a table.
Two nurses, who were playing in the hall at the time, rushed to his aid as they waited for paramedics to arrive.
The bingo hall regular, who reportedly stopped breathing twice after suffering a cardiac arrest, remained in hospital yesterday and is believed to be in a critical condition, but bosses have come under fire for allowing the game to continue as the man received treatment last Wednesday.
But they today defended the decision, insisting it is standard procedure as advised by experts in the event of a medical emergency to allow paramedics to do their job and avoid panic.
They said the game was immediately cancelled once the victim had been taken to hospital.
One player, who was in the hall at the time, described the surreal scene in the room as the numbers continued to be called as the man's life hung in the balance.
He said: “A man was seemingly dying and people were playing bingo like nothing was happening. The two nurses said the chap had actually 'died' twice.”
A senior member of staff told the Mail: “We did continue with the bingo but it is what we are told to do by the emergency services so they can work safely without anyone being in the way.
“There wasn't any kind of malice in it, it is what we're advised to do so there is no congestion and everyone isn't asking questions and the paramedics can deal with the situation in hand.”