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Safety fears after chimney collapses on Perth street

Chimney collapse
Residents of Friar Street are concerned about the structural safety of chimneys.

It is feared someone could be killed if safety work is not carried out on Perth flats after a chimney collapsed.

Residents of Friar Street, in the Craigie area of the city, are worried more properties could be at risk after residents had to be evacuated on Monday.

A chimney stack and a section of brickwork on a block of flats crashed to the ground at around noon.

The debris fell onto a number of council bins in a gated grass area, just off the street.

Nobody was injured but the building had to be cordoned off and emergency services were on the scene into the evening.

Chimney collapse.
Some of the damage to the building.

Friar Street residents living near the block of privately-owned flats fear the same thing could happen to other buildings.

One neighbour, Brian Johnson, said: “Someone could have died.

“It is beyond lucky that the debris landed in the garden rather than on the road.

“It could have struck a dog walker, you just can’t imagine it really.”

‘Those chimneys could go at any minute’

Another resident, Mary Jones, said: “It’s just awful and I’m so happy that nobody was hurt.

“It is really bad, those chimneys could go at any minute.

“I really can’t believe it just collapsed like that.

Had this been a chimney that faced the street then God knows how much worse this could have been

“Many of [the chimneys] are slanted, and had this been a chimney that faced the street then God knows how much worse this could have been.

“I wasn’t home at the time but I can only imagine the fright people must have gotten.”

The cordon was removed on Tuesday morning but residents are yet to return.

Local gas workers have been surveying the area to ensure there is no damage to the gas mains.

A spokesperson from SGN Gas has said: “We were called to support the emergency services in Friar Street yesterday, following reports of a collapsed property wall and concerns regarding the proximity of our riser pipe.

“Our engineers determined there was no damage to the pipe upon investigation.

“Cutting this pipe off safely would result in disconnecting approximately 30 properties from our gas network. Despite there being no damage to the pipe, we’re working to establish an engineering solution to disconnect the pipe while maintaining the continuity of supply.”

Gas workers.
Workers have been surveying the gas pipes around the area to ensure there is no damage.

Another Friar Street resident, Mark Andrews, said: “There is loads of damage to these buildings, they’re so old and fragile.

“Sadly I’m not surprised this happened.

“It has been this way for years and I really hope this accident leads to better maintenance so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.”

Council ‘can step in during an emergency’

A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said: “If a property owner is concerned about the safety of the structure of their property, it is their responsibility to take the necessary steps to ensure the integrity of the building.

“In an emergency situation the council may step in and implement measures to ensure the building does not pose a danger to the public and remains as safe as possible until repairs can be carried out by the owner; however, any work actioned by the council will be recharged to the owner.”

Residents evacuated after chimney collapses on Perth street

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