Scaffolding crashes down into busy street

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An investigation has been launched after scaffolding fell from a town centre building, narrowly missing people walking below.

Witnesses described hearing a tremendous crash and shoppers running from the scene as 50 metres of scaffolding fell into a busy Corby town centre street.

The scaffolding fell about 20 metres from the top of Chandos House in Queen’s Square.

It had been put up along the full length of the shopping parade from Dorothy Perkins to the entrance to the multi-storey car park.

Workers had been using it while they renovated top-floor flats, which are owned by Leicester Housing Association, part of Asra Housing Group.

It smashed glass canopies and brought to the ground signs above each shop. There were no injuries but three people were treated for shock.

Town centre manager Dan Pickard was standing 10 metres away when it happened. He said: “There was just an unbelievably loud banging noise and we saw people just running away from where the scaffolding had fallen.

“We are very grateful that no-one was injured. Three people were treated for shock. We are now working with the Health and Safety Executive to work out exactly what happened.”

A spokesman from Asra Housing Group said: “The scaffolding has been in place for a number of weeks as part of our ongoing work to refurbish Chandos House. The incident has been reported to the Health and Safety Executive and we will be co-operating with them fully. We take situations like this extremely seriously and will take all necessary steps to ensure it cannot occur again.”

Workers from Desborough Scaffolding Services have taken down their scaffolding and it will remain down for the duration of the HSE’s investigation.

The incident happened at 2pm on Friday. Shops in Queen’s Square including Askews, Jane Norman, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Select were shut for the rest of the afternoon.

Sue Henley, 44, was working in Jane Norman when the scaffolding fell. She said: “It was like a massive clap of thunder. God knows what would have happened if it had been a Saturday.”