Urgent investigation call

Unite calls for investigation after crane collapses in east London leaving one dead and four injured

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One woman has died and four others people injured after a crane collapsed in Bow, east London on Wednesday (July 8), a tragic incident that has highlighted the dangers people face in and around construction sites.

The 20m crane collapsed on site where flats were being constructed as well onto two terraced houses. The woman who died was found on the first floor of one of the houses and was pronounced dead on the scene. Two of the four who were injured were taken to hospital to be treated for head injuries.

It is understood that the crane collapsed while in the process of being erected and crashed onto the block of flats being built and the two adjacent houses.

One witness who lived in one of the houses damaged by the collapse told the BBC that the incident was “like an earthquake”, while another said they could “feel the ground shake” when the crane came crashing down.

This morning (July 9), ITV reported that dozens of people living in the area have been evacuated and will remain so until the area is safe. A spokesperson from Tower Hamlets council said that a rest centre had been established and that people who needed accommodation will be provided with it.

What appeared to be Wolff Crane involved in the collapse was being used at the time of the incident by Swan Housing Association and NU living.

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs told ITV that it was vital the incident was investigated.

“We have more construction in my part of London than just about anywhere else in the country, and it’s important that we get on top of it of course, and learn any lessons, see were there any errors,” he said. “A lot of people will be worried by this and I guess there’s a question of public assurance as well.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan also called for an investigation, saying, “We must ensure the lessons are learned so an accident like this never happens again.”

Unite, which long highlighted the dangers of cranes on construction sites, also called for a prompt and full investigation.

Offering his condolences to the people and families affected by the accident, Unite national officer Jerry Swain said, “Yet again we have seen a crane collapse on a construction site.

 “Unite is in the process of contacting the company to discover more details about this accident,” he added. “There must be an urgent, full and complete investigation into the circumstances that led to this accident. The preliminary findings of which must be released in weeks, rather months or years, in order to ensure that similar accidents are avoided in the future.”

By Hajera Blagg

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