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INCIDENT: FIVE STOREY BUILDING COLLAPSE

Workers escape disaster as steel frame structure collapses after topping out 

It has been reported by London 24 that a five storey building, topped out last week, dramatically collapsed yesterday (31 January 2012) in Ilford, east London. The City Gates Christian Centre collapsed although all 22 workers on the site escaped unharmed. 

HSE investigators are seeking to establish what caused the steel frame structure to collapse. Contractor Ashe Construction said in a statement:

“Following extensive searches of the building site and surrounding areas the emergency services have confirmed that no site workers or members of the public have been injured as a result of the partial collapse. We are extremely grateful to the emergency services, the local authority and other statutory bodies for their response to this incident.”

According to Construction Enquirer the project client spokesperson Associate Pastor Stephen McEwen said: “Health & Safety Inspectors visited the site weekly and were on site the day before” the incident. It is not clear if these visits were by HSE Inspectors. He added “this can only be described as a miracle that no-one was harmed.” 

Crane on the site left in a precarious position

A Fire Brigade statement said:

“Our specialist urban search and rescue (USAR) crews were called to a collapsed building on Clements Road in Ilford. The steel frame surrounding it collapsed and scaffolding from the construction site also fell into a nearby car park, damaging six cars.

USAR crews used specially trained dogs to complete a systematic search of the area and were able to confirm that no-one else was involved in the incident, although one passer by was treated for shock by London Ambulance Service.

A crane on the site was left in a precarious position after the building collapsed and a 60 metre safety cordon was established.”

Eye witness Mick Pandher told the Ilford Recorder:

“I looked towards the building and I thought it was a thunder storm at first. Seconds later, I saw the whole building going to the floor. It was very sudden. It was like when you see a building being demolished. It came down in a straight line.”

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