Curry house collapses after basement refurb
Two builder brothers Naveed and Rizwan Hussain were prosecuted by the HSE at Sheffield Crown Court after the collapse of a three-storey former curry house on
The incident which happened on 23 March 2013 in which two residents and a builder suffered minor injuries the surrounding area was evacuated when the front of the property and the flats on the two upper floors caved in, the HSE said at the hearing it was ‘remarkable’ that no one had been killed.
The property was so dangerous after the incident it had to be demolished by Sheffield Council so it could not hurt anyone else the reason for the collapse was the two brothers had destabilised the structure of the building while refurbishing the basement taking out wall including the central wall between 192 and 194 Brook Hill which had collapsed due to the Hussains’ refurbishment project.
HSE said the Hussain brothers were not competent to carry out the work and were responsible for a number of safety failings mostly that they did not secure the building properly before removing the load bearing walls.
The court heard Naveed Hussain had been the recipient of enforcement notices from HSE on a previous building job relating to failures to plan the work properly.
The brothers received the following sentences.
- Rizwan Hussain, 39, of Rutland Road, Sheffield, was given a 12 month custodial sentence and a fine of £42,000 with £40,000 in costs after pleading guilty to safety breaches.
- Naveed Hussain, 33, Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield, was given a 12 month custodial sentence and fined £40,000 with £60,000 to pay in costs after admitting safety breaches.
The HSE principal construction inspector Dave Redman commented: “All three people injured in this avoidable incident were fortunate not to have been killed.
“One was saved by a table that had fallen across his body and shielded him from falling debris.
“But their narrow escapes owed more to luck than judgement on the part of the defendants, Rizwan and Naveed Hussain. Both acted incompetently in dealing with the project and fell woefully below acceptable standards.
“When carrying out major building alterations it is imperative that skilled structural engineers are employed to advise on the temporary supports needed.
“It is equally important that competent contractors are then used to ensure that those supports are correctly used for the duration of the work.
“The risks associated with this type of project are well-known in the construction industry and they are significant.
“Where competent people are not used and inadequate controls are employed there is always a risk of a catastrophic collapse and multiple fatalities.”
His Honour Judge Murphy, sentencing, commented: “”It was little short of a miracle that more people were not seriously injured or killed. This was a very serious incident caused by your arrogance and greed.
“A statement needs to be made to people undertaking such projects in relation to the importance of health and safety. The public would be appalled at anything less than a custodial sentence.”