DemolitionNews’ Mark Anthony reports LIVE from site of unplanned collapse.
An access platform is extended to its full height, a hosepipe snaking up its boom and continuing to drip water onto the rubble below. A high reach excavator sits flaccidly and forlornly alongside, its boom now parallel with the ground. Nothing out of the ordinary, you might think.
But pan back slightly and it is clear to see that all is not well on this site in Hounslow, West London.
A pile of debris, far too large to have been taken down in a controlled manner, dwarfs the high reach machine; rubble has breached the site perimeter, escaping through the site hoarding and littering the road in the neighbouring bus garage; and police line a street that should be bustling with shoppers, restaurant goers and local residents.
At around 4pm this afternoon, Hounslow High Street was brought to a standstill as Hounslow House – a tower block next to a busy bus terminus – collapsed whilst undergoing demolition. No official cause has been provided and, according to the police on the scene, no-one has been hurt.
It could have been very different. The rubble strewn across the exit from the bus station could so easily have hit a bus packed with passengers; the debris that breached the site hoarding could so easily have struck a pedestrian.
At the time of writing, the site team from Lincolnshire-based GBM Demolition – were awaiting the arrival on an HSE inspector while trying to figure out what had gone wrong and how they were going to contain a large section of the building that remains hanging precariously the full height of the eight-storey block.
DemolitionNews will be attempting to get a statement from GBM Demolition in the morning.