Close to 100 workers escaped injury when a six storey building being selectively dismantled by one of the UK's leading demolition contractors collapsed without warning on April 20. According to news reports, the upper storeys collapsed to fall onto the lower floors, causing them in turn to fail. Apparently some 100 personnel were on the site but happened to be elsewhere when the incident occurred. Just one worker was hospitalised following the incident and the site and surrounding buildings in Aldwych were evacuated as a precaution.
Paul Deacy, managing director of Keltbray Demolition & Civil Engineering said of the incident: “We can confirm there has been an incident at Portugal Street in London on 20 April, where Keltbray was working on the demolition of a building when part of the building and scaffolding collapsed. One man was been taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and is now recovering at home. Fortunately nobody else was hurt. Emergency services were immediately called to the scene and all people in the vicinity were evacuated. All operations on site have been suspended while we work with all the relevant authorities to investigate and fully understand the circumstances of the incident.”
In a later statement, the company added: “With reference to the incident on 20 April in Portugal Street, London, where Keltbray is working on the demolition of a building when part of the building and the scaffolding collapsed, we can confirm that it was our machine driver, who is highly experienced and respected, and has worked for Keltbray for over 20 years, who was injured."
“We are pleased to be able to report that having received hospital treatment, he was discharged late morning yesterday (Wednesday) and he is now recuperating at home. Fortunately nobody else was hurt."
“Our prime focus at present remains both supporting the machine driver and his family, and continuing our investigation of the incident with the relevant authorities.”