Wirral musician describes moment earthquake hit Japan as he was travelling across a Tokyo suspension bridge (VIDEO)

A MERSEYSIDE musician on tour with the BBC Philharmonic orchestra told how the earthquake struck Japan as they crossed a suspension bridge in Tokyo.

Clarinet player Colin Pownall said he "felt lucky to be alive" after their coach was left rocking from side to side.

The 56-year-old, who is from Neston, Wirral, said: "I thought: ĎThis might be the endí, and it really would have been if it werenít for the amazing building skills".

"In our bus they had a TV on and so straight away there was News that there had been a massive earthquake so we realised it was exactly what we thought it was."

As the initial tremors stopped the coaches were able to make it off the bridge and eventually reached Yokohama.

Mr Pownall, one of two former RLPO players on the tour, said: "Everyone was nervous and shaken up."

As the scale of the damage to Japanís nuclear power stations became clear the orchestra abandoned the tour.