Near miss as tiles fall from roof

PUBLISHED: 11:01 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 07:15 30 May 2010

Fireman make the roof safe after the near miss  Picture: NICK THOMPSON

Fireman make the roof safe after the near miss Picture: NICK THOMPSON

A DUNMOW man had a dramatic escape when parts of a roof on a newly-built block of flats almost toppled on his head. Fire crews from Dunmow and Harlow were called to the flats at Haslers Place at around 1pm after slates and roof lining mysteriously fell to

A DUNMOW man had a dramatic escape when parts of a roof on a newly-built block of flats almost toppled on his head.

Fire crews from Dunmow and Harlow were called to the flats at Haslers Place at around 1pm after slates and roof lining mysteriously fell to the ground.

One witness, who did not want to be named, lives in the flat directly below and described the incident as "sounding like the whole building was caving in".

He said: "It is the second time this has happened and it is disgraceful. Children using the arts centre and the young army cadets, go up and down here all day. If the roof had of fallen on them it could have killed someone.

"When I looked out of my back window after the crash one man was in very close proximity to where the rubble ended up. It must have only just missed him."

The eye witness added that he ran down to see if anyone was injured and when he got there more slates fell off narrowly missing him.

"It needs to be sorted out properly," he added. "The engineers need to get up on the roof and replace the whole lot to stop this from happening again."

The flats were completed five years ago and the developers, Stephen Howard Homes, have since arranged for a team of engineers to carry out regular maintenance.

Leading that team is premises manager Terry Sutton. He said: "We are taking this incident very seriously.

"We already had an engineer at the site when it happened and we are investigating the causes. We have to go through our insurance company in order to find out what caused the roof to fall but as soon as we know we will rectify the situation.

"As far as we know it is the first time we have heard of this happening but our own investigation is already underway."

Dunmow fire station senior officer Keith Crow described the incident as "very random" and said that his crew had now made the roof safe by removing the remaining loose parts.

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