Now a chunk of metal falls eight storeys off Hackney New Primary School building site – a week after 10-storey pillar plunge
PUBLISHED: 20:21 08 July 2019 | UPDATED: 20:21 08 July 2019
A father has described the moment a chunk of metal narrowly avoided hitting him as it fell eight storeys off Hackney New Primary School – just a week after a massive pillar plunged 10 storeys from the same building site.
Dan Turner "heard something whizz past his head" which then landed 5ft away from him. He was crossing Downham Road at the junction with Kingsland Road this morning, after popping out to buy a paper.
"It's hard to say exactly how close it was to me, because you aren't expecting things to fall out of the sky as such," Dan, of Enfield Road, told the Gazette.
"In my peripheral vision I saw something smash into the floor. It made a very loud bang when it hit the ground and I didn't really know what had happened. I carried on walking because obviously you don't stand in the middle of the road, but I was in shock. One of my neighbours who watched me walk across the road told me: 'Something just fell off the building and missed you.'"
They soon realised it was a four-inch cylindrical metal bracket.
"There were various workmen stood around and one of them scurried into the road and picked it up," said Dan, "and there was a bit of pointing and gesticulating from one of the guys on the ground, pointing up to another guy working on the development, so I'm assuming it fell from something he was working on.
"It was pretty thick and it obviously it hit the ground with a lot of force."
Ironically the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was actually on site, investigating last week's accident, which saw a huge pillar plunge 10 storeys, landing close to a driver at the traffic lights.
The former Kingsland Fire Station site is being developed by the Benyon Estate, developer Thornsett and the Department for Education.
Dan now wants to warn people to give the building site a "wide berth".
He had already asked the site manager to make sure he was taking the necessary precautions after last week's accident "to make sure nothing like that happened again".
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"I don't like causing a fuss about this stuff, but I saw the head of Thornsett in a café last week and told him people were concerned about the pillar that had fallen into the road," he said.
"He came to find me a couple of minutes after this incident and apologised profusely and said there would be an investigation.
"You can apologise as much as you want, but if things keep falling of the building you are erecting, words are pretty meaningless.
"I understand people have jobs to do and buildings need to be built, but if you can't keep building materials on the building I'm not sure you should be doing it at all to be honest."
He continued: "I hate to say it but you could be looking at a fatality. I have a 10-month-old daughter.
"I certainly won't be using that crossing again."
A spokesperson for Thornsett said all works on the scaffold and the external part of the building were immediately suspended following the incident. However, they had resumed by this evening.
They added: "This is not linked to the incident which occurred last week. This is currently being investigated fully.
"We have been co-operating with the HSE, the regulatory government agency, throughout this process. We are duty bound to follow their advice and recommendations regarding works on site.
"They are aware of the incident today. They attended the site today carrying out their ongoing investigations.
"We would like to reaffirm our position that health and safety is of paramount importance on our sites."
The Benyon Estate did not respond to the Gazette's request for comment.
A HSE spokesperson said: "HSE is aware of the incident and making initial enquiries."