Cinema falls on busy road during demolition

Grant Prior 13 years ago

A Liverpool demolition contractor has been fined after poor work saw a disused cinema collapse onto a dual carriageway in Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire.

Gaskells Demolition Services Ltd of Bootle was prosecuted after part of the Orion building fell onto the A587 during rush hour on Thursday 17 June 2010.

The art-deco building opened as a cinema on 24 November 1934, with more than 1,000 seats. It closed in 1961 and was used as a theatre before being converted into the Orion bingo hall in 1965. It was eventually shut for good in October 2009.

Gaskells was hired to demolish the building on Crescent West ahead of a supermarket being built on the site.

During the work, part of the building and scaffolding collapsed, blocking the two northbound lanes of the dual carriageway and the entire width of Runneymede Avenue for several hours.

No one was injured in the collapse but one pedestrian suffered a near-miss and a car was also damaged.

The HSE investigation found that, although the company had taken some precautions, it had failed to set up safe arrangements for the demolition such as an exclusion zone around the building.

It also failed to apply to the council for temporary road closures while the work took place.

The scaffolding put up along the front of the building was to allow workers to access it, rather than to support it.

Gaskells Demolition Services Ltd admitted safety breaches and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Anthony Polec said: “The risk of buildings unexpectedly collapsing is well known in the demolition industry but Gaskells failed to take adequate action to prevent lives being put in danger.

“The company should have put suitable measures in place to protect the public, such as applying to close the roads while the demolition work took place and setting up an exclusion zone to keep the public away.

“It could also have erected facade retention scaffolding that could support the building, rather than relying on employees to keep a lookout for passers-by.

“This was entirely inappropriate given the demolition work was taking place next to a busy dual carriageway on a weekday morning. It’s only luck that no one was seriously injured.”

Latest news

McLaren gets green light for 45-storey Leeds tower

Landmark Wellington Square scheme will see 464 flats built with 360,000 sq ft of offices
2 days ago

Heavy rain causes 1.9% construction output fall

Hopes remain undampened of a resi-led recovery this summer
2 days ago

Taziker restruture to return to profitability after £1.2m loss

Founders bought the business back from private equity after last year's loss
2 days ago

£220m London wharf homes scheme approved

285 homes to be built beside protected Albert and Swedish Wharves in Wandsworth
2 days ago

Major project veteran named civils director for Sizewell C

David Speight previously worked on Hinkley, Heathrow and HS2 client teams
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall lands £19m Milton Keynes hospital job

Crane lifts to be carefully co-ordinated to ensure air ambulance remains active
3 days ago

Clancy bolsters civils leadership team

Daniel Tonkin and Simon Hyams join as operation directors of water and infrastructure
3 days ago

Balfour names new project boss for HS2’s super-hub station

Steve O’Sullivan replaces Nigel Russell who was promoted to CEO of Balfour's HS2 ops
3 days ago

Buckingham Group supply chain hit doubles to £256m

Total owed to unsecured creditors soars as surety providers finalise claims
3 days ago

Builders demand an end to police plant bans

Call to suspend all embargoes on moving mobile cranes and large site kit
3 days ago

Green light for £65m Blackpool multiversity campus

Education campus of 350,000 sq ft will be delivered in phases
3 days ago

Vinci signs £138m Sheffield steel forge expansion deal

Sheffield Forgemasters signs landmark contract after two years of pre-construction works
4 days ago

McAlpine hires HS2 programme boss to head defence arm

Armed forces logistics expert Mike Hickson takes role as MD of defence
4 days ago

£200m carbon capture plan for Deeside site

Energy from waste operator enfinium looking to invest in North Wales plant
3 days ago

McAleer & Rushe promotes five staff to contracts directors

Design and build contractor targets £500m revenue next year
4 days ago

Consultant quartet win Government estate upgrade deal

Government Property Agency selects Arcadis, Tetra Tech, AtkinsRéalis and McBains
4 days ago

Resi towers pioneer to transform Liverpool site

Beetham founder Hugh Frost to help develop 1,200 new homes
5 days ago

Construction Manager of the Year crowned

Galliford Try's Barry Kingscote wins coveted prize: Full list of winners
5 days ago

Landsec £250m London terraced office job approved

Skanska tipped for 20-storey Hill House scheme near Fleet Street
5 days ago

Lendlease tops March contracts league

BAM and ISG rank third with big contract wins
4 days ago

Vistry strikes deal with Homes England for 1,000 units

Firm's timber frames factory will supply most of the Midlands houses
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall go-ahead to build 23-storey Salford resi job

Funding deal with CBRE allows latest project on bank of River Irwell to proceed
5 days ago

Unite Students gains planning for London and Bristol schemes

RG Group will build landmark Stratford tower and Freestone Island projects
5 days ago

Rolls-Royce gets go-ahead for 1.1m sq ft expansion in Derby

Major expansion of Raynesway campus planned to met submarine fleet orders
5 days ago

GMI Construction edges back into profit

A year of controlled consolidation helped generate £0.9m profit but cash at bank dropped to £10m
5 days ago

Balfour gets final sign-off for HMP Highland at £209m

Deal struck for delayed Inverness prison after costs rocket
6 days ago

Renew buys bridge maintenance business

Contractor boosts highways division with £5m acquisition
5 days ago

HS2 tests market for £150m mass transit job

2.4km long elevated Automated People Mover to go out to tender in 2026
5 days ago

Cardo completes fourth acquisition in a year

Expanding Welsh building maintenance specialist reaches £170m turnover
6 days ago

Watchdog clears Heidelberg takeover of Mick George

Four quarries and five ready-mix operations to be sold to meet competition concerns
6 days ago

Contractor services