Woman, 85, killed after crane collapsed on houses leaving family ‘traumatised’

  • london
  • July 9, 2020
  • Comments Off on Woman, 85, killed after crane collapsed on houses leaving family ‘traumatised’
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A woman who died after a crane fell on a row of terraced houses in east London has been named as 85-year-old June Harvey.

The crane fell at a site where flats were being built and its beams crashed through the tiles of two homes on Compton Close, Bow, at around 2pm on Wednesday.

Ms Harvey’s great nephew, Sam Atkinson, 28, who lived with her, said she was a ‘very caring woman’ who was ‘loyal to her family’.

He said said the noise was so loud he thought a plane had crashed. He said: ‘We are devastated by our loss.

‘We are extremely traumatised, extremely shocked. The last thing you ever think is going to happen is a crane coming through your roof. It’s extremely traumatising.’

Specialist firefighters are now working to safely recover the elderly woman’s body from the house.

Four others were injured and two were rushed to hospital with head injuries yesterday. A construction worker remains in hospital in critical condition.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson told reporters outside the street today that it’s going to be a ‘protracted incident’.

He said: ‘We’ll be here for the remainder of the day. At this moment in time there is no intention to give a further update from the Metropolitan Police or London Fire Brigade as of today while investigations are still ongoing.

‘The body is still in situ at this moment in time. It’s unlikely that residents will be able to return while investigations are still ongoing.’

Residents have said it is a ‘miracle’ more people were not killed. One woman, who did not want to give her name, trembled as she described feeling ‘traumatised’ after the crane fell.

She said the house next door to hers bore the full impact of the crash, which sounded ‘like an earthquake’.

Speaking from beside the police cordon, the woman said: ‘I came out of the bathroom and if I had come out a second later, the attic door which is above could have fallen on me and that would have knocked me out.

‘The way that everything fell – if my brother or sister had been in their rooms which is where it hit directly, I just cannot bear to think about it.’

Pointing to the crane, she said: ‘Why is that up there, fully loaded and just waiting to hurt somebody?

‘Have you heard the wind and felt how bad the wind has been lately? They keep on building in crowded areas where people walk and live daily. What did they think was going to happen?’

Residents have been evacuated to a nearby school and emergency services work within the cordon at the scene.

Another resident Alom Uddin, 28, said ‘it was a miracle’ none of his family were hurt and ‘they were on the right side of the house’.

He added: ‘They did not even have a scratch which is a miracle but obviously the psychological damage is going to be something else.

‘Just imagine they repair that house and you have to go back and live there – this is just going to keep playing on your mind. It is like a near-death experience.’

A joint investigation is underway involving officers from the Met’s Central East Command Unit and Specialist Crime, the Health and Safety Executive, and the London Fire Brigade. The Local Authority are aware and providing support.

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