Reading scaffolding collapse investigation begins

Scaffolding falling Image copyright Other
Image caption The structure came down just after 11:15 BST

The collapse of scaffolding at an old shopping centre is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

Three people were injured after the structure came down on Thursday morning in Garrard Street, Reading.

Crews searched the wreckage throughout Thursday after initial fears people were trapped beneath the rubble.

But the all clear was given after police dogs and thermal imaging was used to search the area. The rubble has now been cleared.

The three injured people - a site worker and a couple who had been passing by - were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Scaffolding contractor McGee said it was also investigating and would "provide further updates when facts are available".

Taxi driver Jahangir Shan told the BBC he drove past the scaffolding "five or six seconds" before the scaffolding, which surrounded the derelict Friars Walk shopping centre, collapsed.

"I was very lucky. It sounded like thunder. A lot of people were running down the road shouting out names hoping to get a response."

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Media captionTaxi driver Jahangir Shan filmed the aftermath of the collapse

Thames Valley Police closed the nearby NCP car park to the public, but has since reopened it for drivers to collect their vehicles.

Garrard Street remains closed in both direction.

The derelict shopping centre is being demolished as part of a £500m housing and retail development at Station Hill in Reading.

The BBC reported in June that property firm Lincoln MGT had snapped up the development site, becoming its third owner in 13 years.

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