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Balcony Collapse - One Man Was Pinned to Railings

25 November 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970

Tomasz Procko, 22, from Greenford died at the scene. Karol Szymanski, 29, from Wembley died later in hospital. One of the men is thought to have fallen on to spiked railings while the other hit the ground 30 foot below where the pair were possibly hauling a sofa via a pulley. The father of one of the men was seen trying to get past the police cordon to comfort his dying son.

Six other people - thought to be those delivering sofas to the address - were also injured by debris.

Firefighters assisted the London Ambulance Service. Station Manager Richard Scrivener, who was at the scene, said: “When we arrived we made the scene safe, securing parts of the iron balcony that had broken away in the fall.

"Crews assisted London Ambulance Service to provide first aid to those injured in the fall as well as to a number of onlookers who were suffering from shock.”


Fire on a train

35 firefighters and officers attended a fire on a train at Charing Cross station on Sunday morning. A small section of the front carriage of a train on platform 6 was damaged in the blaze plus a section of track. Around 100  people were evacuated from the station. A small number of people were on the affected train but they were evacuated by station staff and there were no injuries. Norman Perry who was at the scene said: “A small section of the carriage was damaged by the fire and it caused a lot smoke. As well as tackling the fire, Firefighters ensured the station and it’s shops and cafes were properly ventilated so it was safe for people to come back onto the concourse as soon as possible."

6 fire engines from Soho, Euston and Lambeth attended the incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation but it’s believed to be an electrical fault.



Following heavy rain on Sunday afternoon, the river Ravensbourn burst it’s banks and water poured onto surrounding roads in Lewisham. An area of around 1800 square metres was affected. 21 firefighters and officers  pumped the water away from homes and businesses in the area and back into the river further downstream. Crews managed to stop the water reaching nearby Lewisham DLR and so the station remained open.

The Brigade attended 34 separate but smaller flooding incidents on Sunday.

Local Station Manager Bruce Grain said: “The modern fire service doesn’t just put out fires but deals with a range of emergencies, including road traffic accidents, building collapses and flooding. We have a range of specialist equipment to rescue people from all types of emergencies.”


Explosion at hotel

Firefighters attended an explosion at a hotel in Berkeley Mews at the junction of Seymour Street, central London, last on Satruday night. Around 400 people were evacuated from the hotel by staff, to a neighbouring hotel. Eleven people were injured and five were taken to hospital  by the London Ambulance Service. A dangerous structures engineer attended on site in addition to gas authorities.

The explosion was in the hotel basement which has caused extensive damage to the basement and the ground floor.  Five cars in a neighbouring street were also damaged. Six fire engines and 35 firefighters from Soho and Paddington fire stations attended as well as search and rescue and hazardous materials teams.

The Brigade was called at 23:42 and the duty of care was left with hotel security at 06:01. The cause of the explosion is being investigated but is believed to have been caused by a gas leak.


Another collapse on Friday results in near miss

Workman had a lucky escape on Friday when the roof of the building they were working on collapsed during their lunch break. The entire roof to the residential property above a shop in Haringey collapsed onto the floor below. The builders had all left the property and nobody was in the residential part of the building at the time and so thankfully, there were no injuries.

Firefighters from the Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR) who specialise in assessing and shoring up collapsed structures checked the building was not in danger of collapsing. They worked with police to set up a 70.ft security cordon. Numerous homes and businesses near to the affected building were evacuated. 

Local Station Manager Daniel Alie who was at the scene said: “There is a lot of damage to the roof and upper area of the building but thankfully no injuries. If anyone had been in the loft or on the top floor when the roof caved in, it could have been a very different story.

 “Our specialist USAR firefighters and officers from Haringey Council's buildings control have been inspecting the damage to see if the affected building or those nearby are structurally sound”

 One fire engine and an aerial ladder platform from Tottenham fire station attended the incident.


Previous reporting
Two men have died as the railings around the balcony at one of the capital's most exclusive residences has collapsed. The incident happened at Cadogan Square in the Knightsbridge district.

The London Ambulance Service was called at 10:00am. Greg Hands, the local MP has said the two men that died were carrying out removals - those this has not been confirmed by an of the emergency services who are still in the process of informing the next of kin. The HSE has indicated it will investigate if it is deemed a 'workplace accident' otherwise it will be left to the police.

In total, eight people were treated for injuries. One workman was pronounced dead at the scene,; another died in hospital.

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We sent three ambulance crews, an advanced paramedic, the hazardous response team and a London air ambulance. We treated eight people but sadly one man died."

Cadogan Square is home not only to the wealthy but to overseas property investors and speculators - houses will not sell for less than an average £5.7 million. With the property at the centre of the incident valued in excess of £6 million. 

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 25 November 2014


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