Mothercare shop collapses in Bishop Auckland

Mothercare building, Bishop Auckland
Image caption Staff reported hearing a "cracking noise" before the collapse

Shoppers were led to safety after part of a building containing a Mothercare branch in County Durham collapsed.

Fire crews said staff at the three-storey store in Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland, heard a "cracking noise" before a rear section of the building collapsed on Thursday.

Two adjoining buildings in the town's main shopping street were evacuated.

A fire service spokeswoman said no-one was injured. The area has been cordoned off to allow a structural survey.

The spokeswoman added: "We received a call just before 2pm to a building in Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland.

"When the fire and rescue team got there, the store had been evacuated already.

"People in the building reported a loud cracking noise or a loud bang before a section at the rear of the store collapsed, bringing down three floors.

"The area has been cordoned off to allow a structural survey and remains closed."

A spokeswoman for Mothercare said the store had been operating from the same building for 30 years.

She added: "Everyone was safely evacuated and no-one was hurt.

"We are unable to say much more until the building has been assessed by a team of structural engineers."

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