News   /   Economy   /   Society

A woman whose home was damaged said her family were lucky to be alive

A driver operates a crane at a construction site on Oxford Street in cenral London on May 14, 2020 following an easing of the novel oronavirus COVID-19 lockdown guidelines. People living in England got more freedom on May 13 to leave their homes, including to go to work, the first stage of an easing of the seven-week coronavirus lockdown. COVID-19 / AFP / ISABEL INFANTES

A woman has died after a crane collapsed on to two terraced houses in east London.

London fire brigade said she had been found on the first floor of one of the houses in Bow and had been confirmed dead at the scene. Crews had been searching the houses as part of a complex rescue operation after the 20-metre-high crane fell at 2.39pm on Wednesday.

London ambulance service said another four people had been treated at the scene in Gale Street, two of whom had been taken to hospital with head injuries. A number of crews and a team of specialist paramedics who work in hazardous environments responded to the incident.

A woman whose home was damaged said her family were lucky to be alive. She did not wish to give her name, but told the PA news agency that she felt “traumatised”.

She said her home was next to the one that felt the full impact of the falling crane, and said the collapse sounded “like an earthquake”. She said: “I came out of the bathroom, and if I had come out a second later, the attic door which is above could have fallen on me and that would have knocked me out. The way that everything fell – if my brother or sister had been in their rooms which is where it hit directly – I just cannot bear to think about it.”

Another witness told PA that she had seen a woman in a house being rescued by two men with ladders. “There was an old woman in her attic window,” said Sahana Begum, who lives nearby and had rushed outside when she heard the crash.

“I saw someone yelling that a crane had fallen but then I could also hear someone saying ‘help, help, help’,” she said. A few of the local people from the community tried to help her come down, including two men with ladders. Begum said: “As she was coming down the ladder you could see that she was shivering. She was shivering so much that she could have fallen over because she looked like she was going to miss her step.”

A witness, who lives in a nearby block of flats on Watts Grove, said she saw the crane collapse while working from home. Bridget Teirney, in her 30s, said: “I was sitting at my computer facing out as it happened. It made a huge loud noise and a big plume of dust came up.”

She said she saw the crane fall through the top storey of a building site before it collapsed on to the homes, trapping two men including the crane’s driver.

According to Teirney, emergency services arrived within five minutes and gave the driver a rope to climb down from the crane’s cabin, while the other man was pinned under the boom.

“It was absolutely crazy. I rushed straight out on to the street,” said Teirney, who was evacuated along with other residents of the neighbouring flats.

The London fire brigade assistant commissioner Graham Ellis said: “A 20-metre crane collapsed on to a block of flats under development and into two terraced houses on Compton Close. Our urban search and rescue crews undertook a complex rescue operation and used specialist equipment to search the properties. Sadly one woman died at the scene. The London ambulance service have confirmed that two people were taken to hospital with head injuries and a further two were treated at the scene.”

A cordon is in place and Tower Hamlets council said it had set up a rest centre to help those displaced. It warned that access to the area will be restricted for some time.

The crane was being used by Swan Housing Association and NU living. A spokeswoman said: “Swan Housing Association/NU living is deeply saddened by an incident that has occurred at our Watts Grove development site this afternoon. Our thoughts are with those affected and their families at this difficult time.”

Work on the site began in 2018 where shared ownership apartments are replacing an electrical substation building, according to the NU living website.


(Source: The Guardian)

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku