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INCIDENT: SCAFFOLD COLLAPSE ON DEMO PROJECT

Students escape serious injury during multi-storey car park demolition

The Southend Standard has reported that scaffolding collapsed during demolition of the Farringdon multi-storey car park in Elmer Approach, Southend.

Students Sam Maddison and Matt Toyer were walking down the Farringdon Service Road, behind the multi-storey, when debris, including scaffold boards fell from the building and through the safety netting.

Sam, 18, of Bournemouth Park Road, Southend, said:

“It was quite shocking. Me and Matt were just walking past when we almost got hit. We heard all this loud banging and crashing down. About ten metres ahead, we could see bits of rubble fly out through the scaffolding. Then loads more came out and lots of dust came towards us. You couldn’t see anything apart from dust, it was worrying. Looking at the state of the scaffolding, if we had been hit, I think we would’ve been in hospital.”

The multi-storey is being demolished to make way for a £30million library development for Southend Council and facilities for South Essex College and the University of Essex.

Amy Heathcote, assistant manager at Toys N Tuck, in Queens Road, said:

“There was a massive explosion. It felt like an earthquake. Out the back it was thick with dust. All the scaffolding had buckled outwards. People could have been walking along there at the time.”

Southend Council Strategic Projects Manager, Mark Murphy, said:

“There was a collapse involving five of the floors. In accordance with health and safety requirements, the site is fenced off by safety netting and scaffolding. This largely contained the effect of this incident, and because of it, no one was injured and there was no damage to vehicles or other buildings.”

Mr Murphy said the service road would be closed as a structural engineer investigated what happened. He said demolition contractor Elvanite has offered to clean any dust-covered cars.

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