Families hold a vigil on Thursday to celebrate the first anniversary of the day a crane fell into their homes and killed 85-year-old June Harvey.
June Harvey, 85, was killed when a 60-foot crane crashed through her bedroom ceiling
– Credit: Atkinson Family
June’s niece Jacqueline Atkinson and great-nephew Sam were also injured when a 60-foot crane crashed through their roof, and they are calling for responses a year after it collapsed at the Watts Grove construction site in Bromley-by-Bow.
They had to live in a hotel for six months before support groups and friends gathered in January to make a temporary home habitable.
60 foot crane cutting through roofs in Compton Close on July 8, 2020.
– Credit: Advertiser-Reader Sid Rahman
“Your life has been turned upside down,” said her lawyer, Helen Clifford. “You still don’t know what went wrong or why.”
The overturned crane was removed last December – but the collapse is still under investigation by police and health and safety officials.
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Compton Close’s families and neighbors are calling for the Crown Prosecutor to act faster.
“It is so callous that bereaved families have years of legal nightmares,” added the lawyer.
The first anniversary vigil for June Harvey on Thursday will be held by neighbors and relatives in front of her destroyed home and organized by families against corporate killers and construction safety campaign advocates.
They are calling for better safety rules for cranes “so that nobody else is killed”.
June Harvey was in her bedroom when the crane crashed through the roof.
Her great-nephew Sam later recalled the sound “so loud that I thought a plane had crashed”.
He said at the time: “I screamed for my mother and aunt and tried to push myself through the rubble, but it was impossible. The whole house crumbled around me. ”
The terrace of six cottages in Compton Close took the brunt of the incident, injuring three others, including a construction site worker operating the crane when it overturned.
Compton Close had to be evacuated and the families spent months in a hotel B&B.
June Harvey’s neighbors who were evacuated after the crane overturned and housed in a makeshift hotel B&B
– Photo credit: Mike Brooke
An injured neighbor, Caregiver Tracy Clachar, was given a temporary home in a high-rise in Poplar, but was nervous when the adjoining block was covered with scaffolding, another reminder of poor housing security.
Today, a year after the tragedy, she is still in temporary shelter.
Poplar and Limehouse MP Apsana Begum, whose constituency includes Compton Close, called for tougher action on the operation of construction cranes during a Commons debate in March to discuss post-tragedy safety regulations.
MP Apsana Begum, who raised the issue of crane dangers and deregulation in the House of Commons after the Compton Close tragedy
– Photo credit: Mike Brooke
She urged MPs: “We need robust legislation and enforcement as trends in deregulation are widespread.”