Two men working on a residential tower block in Wapping were "lucky to survive" after the cradle they were in fell nine floors. 

Marcel Botnaru and Radu Baracu were around 90 feet in the air when defective support beams caused their cradle to crash to the ground. 

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Kevin Smith said: “This incident could have ended in a double tragedy. Both of these men suffered injuries but were fortunate to escape with their lives.” 

The incident took place on June 4, 2020, at an under-construction tower block in Pennington Street. 

East London Advertiser: The residential tower was under construction on Pennington Street The residential tower was under construction on Pennington Street (Image: HSE)

Marcel suffered six broken ribs and a punctured lung, while Radu was off work for six weeks. 

The subsequent investigation revealed that the cradle’s support beams had been fitted with the wrong sized end stops, which resulted in it rolling off the end and crashing to the ground below. 

Two companies were fined £120,000 each at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Friday (November 10, 2023) after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches. 

Zarafa Height Solutions Limited, who manufactured the beams, failed to ensure they were safe to use when they left the factory in Grantham.  

Giraffe Access Company Limited, who installed the cradle and support beams at the site, failed to identify that they were defective during their safety checks prior to commissioning. 

Mr Smith said: “The fines imposed on these two companies should underline to everyone in the construction industry the importance of ensuring that rigorous safety checks are carried out on equipment before it is put to use. 

“We will not hesitate to take action against companies which do not do all that they should to keep people safe.” 

HSE is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety.