IT’S BUSINESS as usual in Birmingham this morning after a major emergency operation was launched following the mechanical failure of a crane yesterday.
Engineers stabilised the 54m high structure utilising another crane at the site and will dismantle the remaining structure today (Friday).
The alert was sparked at approximately 11.20am yesterday morning by engineers at a construction site just off Moor Street in the city centre.
Specialists conducting a routine check of the site identified a potential problem with the concrete foundations which fix the crane to the floor. As a precautionary measure, they took the decision to alert police and evacuate the site.
A major emergency operation was then launched involving police, the fire service, ambulance crews, the city council and Network Rail.
Cordons were put in place while engineers assessed the crane and worked with emergency services to identify the risk posed to the public.
For a time, there were concerns that the crane, with a 40m long arm, could collapse should the wind reach high speeds and the foundations fail.
Superintendent Matt Ward from Birmingham Central police station managed the multi-agency response. He said: “As Britain’s second city, Birmingham is well prepared for a range of emergency incidents.
“These plans are regularly tested so that each organisation knows its responsibilities and how to respond.
“When we were notified of this incident, we immediately put those plans into action.
“Working closely with construction staff, the council and other emergency services, we were able to prevent widespread disruption in the city while maintaining the safety of local people.
“I would like to thank the public for their patience during this incident and the media for helping us communicate important information.”
During the incident, the crane was continually monitored by specialist staff who provided emergency teams with regular updates.
No one was injured during the incident and local shopping centres and railway stations remained open throughout the emergency.
Cordons around the area were lifted at around 9.15pm yesterday evening.
The only road to remain closed is Park Street at the junction of Albert Street. This is to allow a mobile crane driven from Manchester access to the site so that engineers can dismantle the remaining structure early today. Temporary road closures may be enforced during as the machine positions itself.
For more information on preparing for emergencies in Birmingham and to sign-up for free emergency alerts, visit: www.birminghamprepared.gov.uk
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