Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


One dead after crane collapses onto London homes

8 July 2020

A woman has died and four people were injured after a tower crane on a construction site in Bow in London collapsed onto nearby homes.

The 20m crane hit two adjacent houses, according to the London Fire Brigade, which used a drone to assist with a rescue operation after the incident.

The accident happened at Nu Living’s Watts Grove development, on the site of a former electricity substation. The affordable homes scheme is modular, using cross-laminated timber (CLT), and was designed by architect Waugh Thistleton. The client is Swan Housing.

The dead woman was found on the first floor of one of the houses hit by the crane and confirmed dead at the scene.

Assistant commissioner Graham Ellis said: “A 20m crane has collapsed onto a block of flats under development and into two terraced houses on Compton Close.

“Our urban search and rescue crews undertook a complex rescue operation and used specialist equipment to search the properties.

“Sadly one woman died at the scene. The London Ambulance Service have confirmed that two people were taken to hospital with head injuries and a further two were treated at the scene.”

A spokesperson for Swan/NU living said: “Swan Housing Association /NU living is deeply saddened by an incident that has occurred at our Watts Grove development site this afternoon. Our thoughts are with those affected and their families at this difficult time.  

“We would like to thank the emergency services for their swift and dedicated response and those who are supporting residents who have had to leave their homes as a safety precaution. Our staff are on site to provide support to the emergency response and the investigation.” 


What a very sad day.

francis williams A.C>I>O>B, 9 July 2020