Building collapses after demo crew begin work

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A building has collapsed after being demolished in Stevenage, Swingate house was under regeneration when the incident happened.

The building which was being demolished by Mace and subcontracted to Kane demolition collapsed in an uncontrolled manner the six-storey building suddenly fell into the road leaving scaffolding and debris in the road.

The local council for Stevenage confirmed that rescue dogs and thermal imaging were used to check whether anybody was trapped in the debris. Nobody was injured.
Council leader Sharon Taylor said the borough’s development partner Mace had contracted the “very experienced demolition firm” Kane Group to carry out the work.

Demolition machinery and the collapsed former office
Demolition machinery and the collapsed former office

Both firms, along with the fire service had agreed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) should carry out an investigation, she added.

“Both companies have had senior teams on site today to carry out their own investigations,” said Ms Taylor.

“Clearly they’ll have to investigate why, at this stage of the demolition works, this has happened…it’s all gone very smoothly up until today.
“Something clearly has happened that they wouldn’t have anticipated.”

Ms Taylor said the council and contractors would be working with the HSE to get the rest of the demolition carried out and make the site safe.
“I’m just glad no-one was hurt because there were staff on site at the time,” she said.

Fire rescue teams asses the damage
Fire rescue teams asses the damage

Roads in the town centre around the building were closed so that emergency services and contractors could deal with the clear-up.

Herts Fire and Rescue Service said it was not aware of any casualties.

Andy Hall, from the fire service, said it was investigating the cause of the collapse.

“We’re currently assessing with partners from Stevenage Borough Council about the stability of the building, we’ve got structural engineers on site,” he said.

He also said a plan was being put in place as to how the building would be demolished safely over the next few days.<

The building is owned by Stevenage Borough Council who contacted Mace to carry out the demolition.

A council spokeswoman said it had been empty for some time, but that rescue dogs and thermal imaging were used to check no-one had been inside, and it was monitoring the situation.

Following the incident yesterday at Swingate House, we have been working closely with our principal contractor, the Health and Safety Executive, the Council’s response team and the emergency services to assess the situation and secure the site.

“We are pleased to confirm that no one was injured, and we’d like to thank the emergency services and the council for their assistance managing the incident yesterday. We’ll be supporting the HSE fully with their investigation into what happened.”