Tyne & Wear

Newcastle Odeon cinema collapses during demolition work

Odeon building collapse Image copyright Lewis Roseby
Image caption The collapse happened late on Monday

Newcastle's former Odeon cinema, which was in the process of being demolished, has collapsed into the street.

The 1930s-built cinema, in Pilgrim Street, came down shortly after 23:00 BST on Monday.

A bus shelter was crushed by scaffolding and falling masonry, but no-one was hurt in the collapse. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said inspectors were at the scene.

Demolition work on the cinema began earlier this year.

'Mangled scaffolding'

It is not yet known what caused the incident.

Eyewitness Esther Beadle was at a bus stop directly opposite the building and described hearing a "low rumble" moments before the collapse.

She said: "The scaffolding got mangled and crumpled as it came down and there was dust everywhere.

"Had there been anyone on the other side of the street they would have been seriously injured."

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Media captionA bus shelter in the street was left crushed after the building collapsed

A HSE spokesman said: "We have been made aware of this incident and inspectors are at the scene.

"As we are working with Newcastle City Council to ensure the site is as safe as possible, there is no further comment we can make at this stage."

Image caption Demolition work began in January

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "At around 23:30, police received a report that some of the scaffolding at the old Odeon cinema site had fallen down on to Pilgrim Street.

"Nobody was injured during the incident and the road was closed overnight to allow the scaffolding to be cleared away.

"The road was reopened at around 6.30am this morning."

Image caption Work to make the area safe was carried out overnight

A Newcastle City Council spokesman added: "The former Odeon cinema has been under demolition since January as part of the regeneration of the wider area.

"The facade of the building, which was scaffolded, collapsed at about 11.30pm last night and police closed the road. Thankfully no one was injured.

"Contractors have cleared the debris overnight and Pilgrim Street is open to traffic in both directions though the footpath nearest to the Odeon site is closed to pedestrians.

"Our engineers and surveyors are liaising with the contractor and the HSE to provide support."

"The demolition was being carried out on behalf of a developer. While the council must be notified of a demolition it is not responsible for it."

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