Residents sleep in emergency accommodation following fears of building collapsing after crash
PUBLISHED: 17:20 16 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:02 17 February 2016
Seven residents slept in emergency accommodation last night because of fears a block of flats would collapse after a car crashed into a living room on the ground floor.
Police were called at 4.23pm yesterday after a black Audi crashed into a living room on the ground floor of a two-storey block of flats in Blacksmith Close at the junction between Grove Road and Gresham Drive, Chadwell Heath.
The 12 flats in the block were evacuated by precaution and residents of the six flats above the damaged ground floor – on the right side of the block - have not yet been allowed back into the building.
Police were at the scene this afternoon to ensure no-one would enter the unsafe part of the block and the estate agent was waiting for the insurance company to confirm the building is now safe to enter.
Police, the London Ambulance Service, two fire engines from Ilford and a fire rescue unit from East Ham attended the scene.
Two people were believed to be in the car, when the vehicle came up Gresham Drive and shot across the road to land at the corner of the building – smashing into the window and pushing the corner of the building out, say the fire brigade.
The driver and the passenger, who had minor injuries to his leg and had to be assisted out of the car, were taken to a hospital in south London.
No-one was inside the flat at the time of the crash but a dog was rescued from the living room by police.
Redbridge Council staff attended the scene and made the building safe before the car was pulled out in the early hours of the morning.
Daouda Coulibaly, who lives on the left side of the block, said he came home at about 8pm to police cars and fire engines parked in front of his block.
“I was scared last night because I don’t have anybody around and I had no choice, I had to stay here,” he said.
His top neighbour Brooklyn Cole said she had been escorted by police officers back into her home at about 5.30pm but left shortly after.
“They were so many blue lights, I just could not stay here,” she said.
She came back at 1am to find the bottom of Grove Road was still tapped off and the car was still wedged inside the ground floor living room.
“They [council staff] said it was too dangerous to move it,” she added.
Her friend, who preferred not to be named, was waiting in his car opposite the block of flats, when he heard “a big bang”.
“There was a massive hole in the wall and it looked pretty dangerous,” he said.
A fire brigade spokesman said: “The structural integrity of the building was under question. We were not sure if there was potential for the building to collapse.”
The fire brigade left the scene at 10.30pm.
Landlords can liaise with the council’s building control team on 0208 708 2529.
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