More than 20 households evacuated from their housing association-owned homes after a fatal crane collapse in east London eight months ago are still living in temporary accommodation.
The crane crashed into two nearby houses (Image: Nathaniel Barker)
More than 20 households evacuated from their housing association-owned homes after a fatal crane collapse in east London eight months ago are still living in temporary housing #UKhousing
A 20-meter crane used to build a block of flats in Bow collapsed last July and fell on two nearby homes, killing one person and injuring four others.
The crane was operated on the Watts Grove site and is owned by the Swan Housing Association.
Nearly 100 people had to leave their homes after the incident, most of whom belong to another social landlord, the Gateway Housing Association.
Gateway has now confirmed to Inside Housing that of the 46 households evacuated at the time, 26 are temporarily housed.
Some of the other 20 have returned home while others have moved permanently.
Last month, Swan and his specialist contractor Keltbray wrote to affected residents that the crane had been successfully removed and the properties in Compton Close and David Hewitt House returned to Gateway.
The crane was 20 meters long and was used to build a block of flats (Image: Basil Long)
A Gateway spokesman said: “We have worked closely with the affected residents and, when it is safe, they have returned to their homes or have been relocated to suitable accommodation.”
“We are making sure that all necessary work is done before people return home and we are continuing to work on affected properties where we can to ensure that residents’ homes are clean, safe and habitable.
“Our team is still in regular contact with residents to provide updates and support.”
The Tower Hamlets Council had previously told evacuated residents to “allow between four and six months”.
A police investigation into the cause of the breakdown is ongoing, with the health and safety officer assisting.
When asked whether Swan is seeking reimbursement of the costs incurred in the incident, the council said it would “consider issues related to the compensation once the investigation into the cause of the collapse is completed”.
Gateway said the cost of repairing damage caused by the fallen crane will not be passed on to residents.
In a statement, Swan said: “Swan’s specialist contractors completed the removal of the collapsed crane in Watts Grove and subsequent site work in late January 2021, which enabled the apartment blocks on Gale Street and Watts Grove along with the houses in Compton Close, be returned to their owners.
“All inquiries about properties managed by the Gateway Housing Association and its residents should be directed to the Gateway Housing Association.
“While the investigation into the cause of the crane collapse continues, Swan remains committed to providing full support to the police and health and safety officers in their investigations.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the force was unable to provide further details on their investigation at this point.
This week, Poplar and Limehouse MP Apsana Begum called for stricter crane safety rules during a debate in the House of Commons.
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