South East Wales

Church collapse death inquiry continues one year on

Jeffrey Joseph Plevey Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Jeffrey Plevey was working on the site of the church when it collapsed a year ago

An investigation into how a derelict church collapsed killing a workman is still continuing a year after the incident, police have confirmed.

The body of 55-year-old Jeffrey Plevey was found under rubble when the former church in Splott, Cardiff, came down on 18 July last year.

Work was being carried out to demolish the buildings when they crumbled.

South Wales Police said their inquiries are on-going and there have been no prosecutions in the case.

Approval was granted in January last year to turn the site of the former Citadel building, previously the Mount Hermon Primitive Methodist Chapel, into an 18-flat housing block.

An earlier report into the buildings in 2016 ahead of work to replace a bridge nearby as part of rail upgrades had warned Cardiff council it was a "dangerous structure" at risk of "imminent collapse".

Report authors Bruton Knowles warned part of the building close to the railway line was unstable and needed to be stabilised or it may "fall" and damage the tracks.

Image copyright @SPIRITismywolf
Image caption A major search operation was carried out through the rubble to find Mr Plevey

But Cardiff council said that while the report highlighted the works could affect the rear of the building close to the rail lines, the sides of the building were found to be in a good structural condition and were not deemed a risk to the public.

The Health and Safety Executive is also involved in the investigation into what happened at the Splott Road site.

Firefighters, rescue dogs and a drone were involved in a search through the wreckage when the derelict church collapsed next to the railway line at about 14:50 BST on 18 July 2017.

Two other people escaped from the building and were treated for minor injuries. The body of Mr Plevey, from Cardiff, was found between 20:00 and 21:00.

His family described him as a hard working man who was the "life and soul of any gathering".

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image copyright Cardiff council report
Image caption How the church on Splott Road looked in 2016
Image copyright Cardiff council report
Image caption A structural report warned about 'severe structural cracking' in 2016

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