In a startling incident on November 28, 2023, a tower crane collapsed onto newly-built flats at a housing development in Leith, Edinburgh. Eyewitnesses likened the impact to an earthquake as the machinery crashed onto the block of flats at Stead’s Place. Emergency services swiftly closed a significant section of Leith Walk to manage the aftermath.
An investigation into the cause of the incident is now in progress, as confirmed by the project’s developer, Drum Property Group. The collapse occurred around 09:30, with the tower crane’s jib toppling at the construction site. Fortunately, only two people required treatment at the scene, with one worker narrowly escaping harm.
Sara Henderson, a podiatrist working at an NHS clinic nearby, recounted the moment of collapse, noting the metal joists folding like matchsticks. The development, undertaken by Collab Construction for Drum, is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2024, comprising 110 high-quality apartments.
Graeme Veitch, a shop owner in the vicinity, described feeling the impact, mentioning that the entire street had to be closed. The road closure, initially between Leith Walk and Pilrig Street, has since been lifted, and emergency crews have left the scene.
Sub-contractors Falcon Tower Crane Services, responsible for operating the crane, stated they were unaware of any defects, emphasizing that the crane had passed its six-month inspection without issues just two weeks prior. The Health and Safety Executive has been notified, and Collab Construction assured a comprehensive investigation into the incident.
This unfortunate event raises questions about construction site safety and will likely prompt a thorough review of crane operations and inspections in similar projects.