This was the dramatic scene in Ilford ten years ago this week after a building under construction collapsed.

An investigation is under way after a five-storey Christian centre which was being constructed in Ilford collapsed.

Specialist rescue teams from the fire brigade searched through the rubble after the collapse of the City Gates building on Clements Road at around 4.30pm on Tuesday.

No-one was seriously injured.

The cause of the incident is now being investigated, with building contractors, Ashe Construction, and Health and Safety officers on the scene.

A ‘topping out’ ceremony for the £6.1million building involving construction workers as well as the mayor and deputy mayor was held on the roof of the building last week.

Andrew Morris, Director of Ashe Construction, said: “We are extremely thankful that no-one was seriously injured.

“At this time of year, because of the diminishing light, it is often safer for workers to leave earlier.

“On this occasion we are extremely lucky that they did.

“Members of our team have been on the site throughout the night and remain there this morning.

“It would be inappropriate for me to speculate, but we are all shocked by this and will do everything we can to assist in finding out exactly what happened.”

Deputy leader of the council, Ian Bond, was in a meeting in the Town Hall when the building came down.

He said: “We heard a loud rushing sound and someone said ‘Is that a train?’.

“But then the phone rang to tell us what was going on.”

It is believed that construction workers on the site had clocked off at around 4pm, leaving the site unoccupied, although six cars were crushed in the collapse.

One passer-by was treated for shock after the incident and surrounding buildings, including a Salvation Army Shelter, have been evacuated.

Several streets remain closed and a crane on the site is described by the fire brigade as being in a precarious position.

Cllr Bond said: “Ilford is chaos this morning.

“We are still not sure if this crane is safe to move and are having to asphalt a road to allow another crane to gain access to the site.”

Traffic diversions remain in place and parking in nearby Station Road is currently suspended.