Storm Ophelia causes tenement collapse

Picture by Jeff Holmes
Picture by Jeff Holmes

A city tenement block has partially collapsed after Storm Ophelia battered Scotland.

The frontage of the Victorian sandstone building in the Crosshill area of Glasgow gave way at around 4am on Tuesday, with one local resident describing the incident as sounding like a “gas explosion”.

It is understood the privately-owned corner block in the southside of the city has been empty for at least a year due to previously identified structural issues.

The bay windows of the tenement in Albert Street were due to be removed in the coming weeks, Glasgow City Council said.

An exclusion zone was already established around the tenement. None of the falling debris breached the barrier.

Seven fire appliances were dispatched and remain on site this morning. Council officers are now assessing the structural integrity of the block.

One resident said: “There was an incredible noise, I thought for a moment there had been a gas explosion.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “The building is comprised of privately owned tenement flats. Officers from the council’s Building Standards and Public Safety service previously ordered its evacuation due to its condition and set up an exclusion zone around it for public safety.

“Responsibility for repairing the property lies with the private owners however the council had offered them financial assistance to help with the cost of repair. Stabilisation works to the property and removal of the bay window areas were due to commence on site within the next two weeks following the appointment of a contractor, by the owners’ agent.

“Unfortunately, Storm Orphelia hit the city and there was a collapse. The exclusion zone did its job and contained the debris and, because we previously evacuated the building, no one was hurt.”

Engineers and the contractor representing the owners are currently on site to assess the damage along with staff from Building Standards and Public Safety.