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Ilford City Gates building collapse: 200 cars trapped, roads closed

PUBLISHED: 10:21 02 February 2012 | UPDATED: 11:17 02 February 2012

The collapsed City Gates Christian centre had its topping out ceremony less than a week before it fell. Picture by Paul Bennett

The collapsed City Gates Christian centre had its topping out ceremony less than a week before it fell. Picture by Paul Bennett

Archant

About 200 cars are trapped inside a multi-storey car park opposite the collapsed City Gates Christian Centre.

A number of roads are closed this morning as building contractors Ashe Construction begin work to dismantle the steel frame left standing in Clements Road, Ilford.

A crane towering above the wreckage will also be dismantled after the site was handed back to the firm.

Clements Lane, Chadwick Road and Hanforth Way and Winston Way are all closed.

A diversion is in place leading drivers towards Gants Hill.

Clements Road is also closed from Central Library (at the start of the bus only lane) to Clements Lane.

Buses are being diverted via Station Road and parking in Station Road is suspended.

The road closures have led to significant delays for motorists this morning, with roadworks in Ilford Hill making matters worse.

Redbridge Council officers from the building control department are at the scene of the collapse, which happened at 4.30pm on Tuesday.

The only reported injury was a sprained ankle, with all 22 workers having clocked off minutes before the collapse.

Several buildings near the scene of the collapse have been left empty since then on safety grounds.

The Redbridge Town Hall car park has partially reopened, with part of the area still cordoned off for safety reasons.

A new entrance has been created on Oakfield Road opposite the Kenneth More Theatre.

This can be accessed via Kenneth More Road.

A spokesman for Britannia has told the Recorder customers will not be charged when they leave the car park when it reopens, which could be as late as Monday.

A spokesman for Ashe Construction said: “The site has now been handed back to us by members of the emergency services, and the Health and Safety Executive and forensic experts will start investigations into how and why the collapse occurred.

“We can confirm that we do not expect access for the removal of cars from the Britannia car park to be achieved until Monday 6th February. If safety and dismantling works progress better than currently planned this date may move forward.”

Deliveries “will be later and volumes reduced” in Redbridge postcodes IG1 to IG6 because of the closure of the Royal Mail’s Ilford delivery office in nearby Chadwick Road.

The collapse of the building has had a knock-on effect to council services as well.

The Virgin Active health club, and the Ilford Travelodge, both in Clements Road, have not reopened.

The council’s housing advice centre, Clements Road, is now operating from a temporary base at Central Library, Clements Road, further along from the collapsed building site.

People are advised to only contact in emergencies because staff may not have access to case files.

The following numbers – 020 8708 2422, 020 8708 2737 and 020 8708 2437 – have been set up for calls to the centre.

The private sector housing team can be contacted on 020 8708 5289 or 020 8708 5478.

The payments and benefits office in Clements Road is still closed –urgent calls should be made to 020 8554 5000.

Fifteen bus routes are being diverted following the incident.

A Transport for London spokesman said: “The bus routes on diversion around Clements Road are the 25, 86, 123, 128, 145, 147, 150, 167, 169, 179, 296, 364, 366, 462 and the W19.”

Did you witness what happened in Clements Road? Do you have pictures from the scene? Call us on 020 8477 3806, email zjan.shirinian@archant.co.uk or Tweet us @ilfordrecorder.


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