Fri, 13 Jul 2018
A YOUNG child reportedly had a miracle escape after this cascade of bricks rained onto Northbrook Street in Newbury on the spot he had been standing just seconds before.
The incident happened around 3pm and emergency services were still on the scene by 4pm.
Miraculously, it appears nobody has been hurt, although Newburytoday is still awaiting official confirmation of this from the authorities.
It is believed that it was caused by a gust of wind ripping an external sign from the wall.
Co-owner of Legends Barbers at The Clocktower, Mehmet Ertürk, said that a child aged around three had been stood on the very spot just seconds before.
He added: "I was sheltering from the rain outside the phone shop [Stormfront] and saw a young boy pushing a bicycle with his mother.
"They stopped and he said: 'Look at the rain,' and then walked on. Then there was a gust of wind and a huge crash and all the bricks came down where they had been standing."
Simon Hooley, operations manager of the Pink Green Studio outside whose offices the bricks fell, said: "There was a massive gust of wind and then a huge crash."
Sam Wright, a staff member at Stormfront, said: "I happened to be looking out when there was a big gust of wind. There was a crash and a cloud of red brick dust.
"Thankfully, shoppers were sheltering from the rain in shop doorways because the street had been crowded minutes before."
Crew manager Keenan at Newbury Fire Station said: "There was a sudden period of relatively strong wind and rain and, obviously, that's pulled on the fixing, which pulled on the bricks.
"It's very fortunate that no one was underneath.
"We got there and cordoned the area off, we were unsure as to whether anymore were going to fall down."
The incident was handed over to West Berkshire Council, who called a structural engineer to assess the building.
For a full report and background to the accident, see next week's Newbury Weekly News.