Barratt responds to 'tragic incident' that killed two people on a site in London

A crane on a Barratt building site in Battersea, London, crashed onto a block of flats last night killing two people.

The collapse took place on Barratt’s Viridian development which will comprise 240 luxury flats and penthouses and is directly opposite Battersea Power Station.

The 165 ft (50m) crane crashed into the flats killing the driver and a member of the public. A third person suffered minor injuries A police investigation is underway.

In a statement last night the company said: “We are, of course, co-operating fully with the investigating authorities and our own health and safety team and a senior management team, including a main board director, are present on site. We will also be carrying out our own investigation.

“Whilst the investigation is going on, our top priority now is to help the residents from the neighbouring homes damaged by the crane. They have been evacuated from the building and we are doing all we can to assist them.

“This was a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the families of the men who have died.”

Meanwhile, Barratt Developments posted a 0.7% dip in pre-tax profit to £391.4m for the 12 months to 30 June 2006.

Underlying pre-tax profit grew 3.4% to £378.4m, which exclude the £15.9m pre-tax (£11.1m post-tax) profit on the disposal of freehold ground rents in 2005. Group turnover also fell, down 2.1% to £2.43bn.

Charles Toner, chairman, commented: “Once again, I am pleased to report another robust performance for the year. Despite competitive conditions, the group increased completions, improved margins, and posted an increase in underlying profits - our 14th consecutive year of growth. Our national geographic coverage, wide product range, and our leadership in brownfield development and social housing have all contributed to this achievement. We remain well positioned for future growth and our 15% dividend increase reflects our confidence in our future prospects.”