Four-storey building is evacuated after crane falls onto block of flats

A crane has collapsed onto a four-storey building on a Bowmer & Kirkland site in Liverpool city centre.

The accident happened around midday on the Kings Dock Mill site, a £28m mixed-use residential and hotel complex by developer Bradco 714.

Two tower cranes are in use on site. The crane involved was undertaking a lifting operation when witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs.

The crane reportedly bent and collapsed onto the adjoining apartment building. The crane operator escaped from his cab onto the roof of the apartment building and has been taken to hospital for treatment.

Eight fire crews and a search and rescue team were called, and a spokesperson for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service described it as a “major incident”.

A number of residents were initially trapped inside the block, but have now been evacuated.

A spokesperson for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said a search of the building was being carried out.

A spokesperson for Bowmer & Kirkland said the firm was liaising with the local community and making arrangements to ensure residents were safely relocated and the apartments secured during the repair and recovery operations.

However, he added that the firm was unable to comment further on the cause of the incident at this time, as investigations remain ongoing.

The other tower crane on site is being examined by an independent engineer.

Mark Blundy, director of health and safety at Bowmer & Kirkland, said all tower cranes were operated in accordance with the “Safe Crane Campaign” codes of practice.

He added that he was aware of Building's Safer Skyline Campaign, but refused to comment as to whether Bowmer & Kirkland would be signing up to the tower crane register, which will initially be voluntary when it comes into force this year.

The Health and Safety Executive confirmed it would be investigating the incident and said an investigator was already at the site.