Builder impaled by metal pole after scaffolding collapses in Bow

Resident John Huxtable described the scaffolding collapse as "carnage"

Resident John Huxtable described the scaffolding collapse as "carnage" - Credit: Darren Burns - archant

A builder was impaled with a metal pole when the 30ft high scaffolding he was on collapsed, while another construction worker miraculously walked away unharmed from the “carnage” in Bow.

Resident John Huxtable described the scaffolding collapse as "carnage"

Resident John Huxtable described the scaffolding collapse as "carnage" - Credit: Darren Burns - archant

The two men had been fitting a new boiler flue to the roof of a home in Tiber Close, when the scaffolding tipped away from the building and smashed into the back garden below on Thursday afternoon (January 17).

Resident John Huxtable, who had taken the day off from his job as an animal warden for Tower Hamlets Council, said: “I was indoors when one of the men ran in wanting to know the door number because he’d dialled 999.

“I hadn’t actually heard the scaffolding collapse, but when I went into the back garden it was carnage. It’s not the normal thing you expect to see in your garden.

“One bloke had slipped off the roof as the scaffolding fell, but he was lucky because he just had a bruised ankle. It was actually his birthday, and some of the other men later joked he’d just had a big birthday bump.


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“But a pole went in the shin of the man who’d been up on the scaffold - he had a round indent where the pole had been and he needed lots of stitches. When the ambulance came they were very concerned about his back too, but we later heard that was ok.”

The 54-yar-old rushed inside to grab dressings and bandaged the builder’s leg as best he could.

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The worker, who is thought to be in his 50s, began shaking uncontrollably and John covered him with dust blankets to keep him warm before an ambulance arrived to take both builders to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Fire crews and health and safety inspectors came to investigate the site, but the scaffolding was later re-erected and all the building work was finished by Friday.

June Morton, managing director of Old Ford Housing Association which is responsible for the property, said: “Thankfully, no-one was seriously hurt in this incident and no residents were affected.

“We take health and safety extremely seriously and have asked our contractor to carry out a full investigation which we will review carefully.”

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