Witness heard girl screaming as building collapsed in Woodford Green

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Firefighters were called to the scene in Abbotsford Gardens in Woodford Green Firefighters were called to the scene in Abbotsford Gardens in Woodford Green

A witness has described how he heard a girl screaming moments after the house she was in collapsed.

Building work was going on next door to the semi-detached, two-storey property in Abbotsford Gardens, Woodford Green, when the part of the structure above a garage collapsed at 5.30pm yesterday.

A young girl and her grandmother were inside at the time but escaped injury and were rescued by firefighters.

Neighbour Steve Thompson, 61, witnessed the drama unfold.

He said: “I went to look at the cracks from a hole that had been dug out by builders when I heard a crack and a rumbling and had to run for it.

“About 10 seconds later it collapsed.

“If I had stayed where I was I would have been dead.

“After it collapsed all I could hear was the girl screaming from inside the house.”

A nearby car was also damaged by the collapse and the house has been cordoned off by police tape. 

Next door neighbour, Ethel Downey, said the scene reminded her of the Blitz.

The 85-year-old said: "When I lived in the East End of London in the Second World War we would see whole streets looking like this, but it is certainly not something you expect to see in this day and age.

"I was watching television at the time but I am hard of hearing so didn't realise it had happened.

"If Steve had not knocked on my door I wouldn't have known, it is shocking really.

"I'm just glad everyone was safe."

Phil Jeff, a 67-year-old cab driver who lives opposite the collapsed building, said 3m trenches were being dug next to the structure.

He said: "It could have killed those inside, it was extremely lucky they were not in the part of the building that collapsed at the time.

"Me and my wife left the house about 2.30pm and I said to her something was wrong. Large holes had been dug between the two houses with no support whatsoever.

"The street is on a slight gradient so it doesn't take a genius to see it was not stable. But for it to collapse like that is incredible really."

Comments (12)

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2:50pm Wed 21 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

Mick Mouse the project manager?
Mick Mouse the project manager? Villagecranberry
  • Score: 0

9:27am Thu 22 May 14

COUGHY says...

WHERE WAS BUILDING CONTROL. WHO WERE THE BUILDER? NO PARTY WALL ACT OR A QUALIFIED SURVEYOR. ANOTHER CASE FOR PLANNING TO IGNORE. HOPE HSE ARE INVOLVED. ALSO THERE PUBLIC LIABILITY IS IN PLACE. BECAUSE I WOULD NOT WISH THEM TO SUFFER LIKE US IN HIGHFIELD ROAD.
WHERE WAS BUILDING CONTROL. WHO WERE THE BUILDER? NO PARTY WALL ACT OR A QUALIFIED SURVEYOR. ANOTHER CASE FOR PLANNING TO IGNORE. HOPE HSE ARE INVOLVED. ALSO THERE PUBLIC LIABILITY IS IN PLACE. BECAUSE I WOULD NOT WISH THEM TO SUFFER LIKE US IN HIGHFIELD ROAD. COUGHY
  • Score: 3

9:33am Thu 22 May 14

MorrisHickey says...

COUGHY wrote:
WHERE WAS BUILDING CONTROL. WHO WERE THE BUILDER? NO PARTY WALL ACT OR A QUALIFIED SURVEYOR. ANOTHER CASE FOR PLANNING TO IGNORE. HOPE HSE ARE INVOLVED. ALSO THERE PUBLIC LIABILITY IS IN PLACE. BECAUSE I WOULD NOT WISH THEM TO SUFFER LIKE US IN HIGHFIELD ROAD.
Indeed so! Serious questions to be answered by the Chief Planning Officer.
[quote][p][bold]COUGHY[/bold] wrote: WHERE WAS BUILDING CONTROL. WHO WERE THE BUILDER? NO PARTY WALL ACT OR A QUALIFIED SURVEYOR. ANOTHER CASE FOR PLANNING TO IGNORE. HOPE HSE ARE INVOLVED. ALSO THERE PUBLIC LIABILITY IS IN PLACE. BECAUSE I WOULD NOT WISH THEM TO SUFFER LIKE US IN HIGHFIELD ROAD.[/p][/quote]Indeed so! Serious questions to be answered by the Chief Planning Officer. MorrisHickey
  • Score: 3

12:11pm Thu 22 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

COUGHY wrote:
WHERE WAS BUILDING CONTROL. WHO WERE THE BUILDER? NO PARTY WALL ACT OR A QUALIFIED SURVEYOR. ANOTHER CASE FOR PLANNING TO IGNORE. HOPE HSE ARE INVOLVED. ALSO THERE PUBLIC LIABILITY IS IN PLACE. BECAUSE I WOULD NOT WISH THEM TO SUFFER LIKE US IN HIGHFIELD ROAD.
Where is the cap lock button?
[quote][p][bold]COUGHY[/bold] wrote: WHERE WAS BUILDING CONTROL. WHO WERE THE BUILDER? NO PARTY WALL ACT OR A QUALIFIED SURVEYOR. ANOTHER CASE FOR PLANNING TO IGNORE. HOPE HSE ARE INVOLVED. ALSO THERE PUBLIC LIABILITY IS IN PLACE. BECAUSE I WOULD NOT WISH THEM TO SUFFER LIKE US IN HIGHFIELD ROAD.[/p][/quote]Where is the cap lock button? Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

2:18pm Thu 22 May 14

myopinioncounts says...

It is easy to check on the Redbridge Council website if planning consent had been obtained for the building work. Not knowing the house numbers of the properties concerned I have looked at the site and can only say that 2 applications for side extensions have been applied for in that road in 2014 and both are still under consideration. Was this work started without permission?
It is easy to check on the Redbridge Council website if planning consent had been obtained for the building work. Not knowing the house numbers of the properties concerned I have looked at the site and can only say that 2 applications for side extensions have been applied for in that road in 2014 and both are still under consideration. Was this work started without permission? myopinioncounts
  • Score: 4

2:35pm Thu 22 May 14

COUGHY says...

The law states that anyone digging less than 3 metres away should have a Party Wall Agreement in place. Plus building regs in place. The planning department are only good for passing the buck. I clearly stated that the law needs to be strengthened in 'Talking Out' in this paper in April. So as This type of thing does not happen. To many unqualified builders with no knowledge pretending to be builders. Everything is classed as civil law. When in fact it is criminal damage. This could have been a lot worse. I hope the DIY cowboys have the book thrown at them and gets to court.
The law states that anyone digging less than 3 metres away should have a Party Wall Agreement in place. Plus building regs in place. The planning department are only good for passing the buck. I clearly stated that the law needs to be strengthened in 'Talking Out' in this paper in April. So as This type of thing does not happen. To many unqualified builders with no knowledge pretending to be builders. Everything is classed as civil law. When in fact it is criminal damage. This could have been a lot worse. I hope the DIY cowboys have the book thrown at them and gets to court. COUGHY
  • Score: 5

2:46pm Thu 22 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

If the have built an extension, they would have required a footing to be dug.

Luckily nobody was killed.
If the have built an extension, they would have required a footing to be dug. Luckily nobody was killed. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 2

2:59pm Thu 22 May 14

COUGHY says...

I feel the councils must work with the government to make more rigorous And stringent health and safety laws .
I feel the councils must work with the government to make more rigorous And stringent health and safety laws . COUGHY
  • Score: 3

2:11pm Sun 25 May 14

snacker says...

COUGHY wrote:
I feel the councils must work with the government to make more rigorous And stringent health and safety laws .
I agree. Problem is the current Government is very pro- deregulation, and large swathes of the public believe health and safety laws are an EU generated load of twaddle. Which, in my view, they are most definitely not.
[quote][p][bold]COUGHY[/bold] wrote: I feel the councils must work with the government to make more rigorous And stringent health and safety laws .[/p][/quote]I agree. Problem is the current Government is very pro- deregulation, and large swathes of the public believe health and safety laws are an EU generated load of twaddle. Which, in my view, they are most definitely not. snacker
  • Score: 3

6:24am Tue 27 May 14

pan says...

Its not just about regulation of the structure its also the issue of having so many varying building practices here now and the discrepancy between traditional methods and new European "quick builds" .

Pay for what you get.
Its not just about regulation of the structure its also the issue of having so many varying building practices here now and the discrepancy between traditional methods and new European "quick builds" . Pay for what you get. pan
  • Score: 2

9:27am Tue 27 May 14

COUGHY says...

pan wrote:
Its not just about regulation of the structure its also the issue of having so many varying building practices here now and the discrepancy between traditional methods and new European "quick builds" .

Pay for what you get.
As I have found out with next door. Left 2 houses damaged. Watch Nightmare Neighbour episode 2 on Channel 5. Wanted to build an enormous extension for 56 thousand using youtube. The build and what we went through and still going through is available on iplayer.
[quote][p][bold]pan[/bold] wrote: Its not just about regulation of the structure its also the issue of having so many varying building practices here now and the discrepancy between traditional methods and new European "quick builds" . Pay for what you get.[/p][/quote]As I have found out with next door. Left 2 houses damaged. Watch Nightmare Neighbour episode 2 on Channel 5. Wanted to build an enormous extension for 56 thousand using youtube. The build and what we went through and still going through is available on iplayer. COUGHY
  • Score: 0

11:58am Tue 27 May 14

Andrewfuller says...

That's what happens when you use cheap foreign builders. You get what you pay for. My sympathy is with the poor family who have has their home destroyed.
That's what happens when you use cheap foreign builders. You get what you pay for. My sympathy is with the poor family who have has their home destroyed. Andrewfuller
  • Score: 3

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