East London crane crash: Union urges initial findings to be released

A crane crashed on to the development and two terrace houses in Compton Close, Bow Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The crane crashed on to a block of flats under development

Investigators must “end the delay” over publishing the initial findings into the causes of a fatal crane collapse in east London, a union has said.

June Harvey, 85, was killed and four others injured on 8 July when a 20-metre crane collapsed on a site where flats were being built in Bow.

Tower Hamlets Council warned last week it could take up to six months for the crane to be removed.

Unite’s Jerry Swain said workers on the site needed safety reassurance.

The union said the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) should release its initial findings to prevent any similar incidents.

At the time of the collapse, the crane was being used by Swan Housing Association and NU living.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Two people were treated in hospital and another two were treated at the scene
Image copyright June Harvey GoFundMe Appeal
Image caption June Harvey was found after the crane crashed down in Compton Close, Bow

Seven weeks on, Tower Hamlets Council warned that stabilising and removing the crane from the site could take four to six months, with it being “among the most complex operations of its kind to be undertaken in London for many years”.

A construction worker, who was critically injured, was taken to hospital and is now in a stable condition, the Met Police said last week.

No arrests have been made as the investigation into the crash, involving the Met, the HSE and London Fire Brigade, continues.

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Media captionSam Atkinson, June Harvey’s great nephew, said he now dreams that ‘something is falling’ on him

Officials at Unite, whose members include employees at crane owner Wolffkran Ltd, argued that the community needed “to have the reassurance that the site and all involved with it are safe”.

“The HSE cannot be seen to be trying to sweep the investigation into this accident under the carpet,” Mr Swain said.

Mr Swain, who is Unite’s national officer for construction, suggested the HSE’s findings were “the only way” the industry could learn and ensure such an incident was prevented from happening again.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption One witness described “feeling the ground shake” when the crane collapsed

He added: “If the HSE cannot publish their initial findings for any reason then they must publicly say why and what is causing that delay.”

HSE has been approached for comment.

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