Shopkeeper speaks of terrifying 'almighty bang' as crane collapses on roof in Leith

A crane collapsed and smashed into the roof of a new-build flat.
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A shopkeeper in Leith has spoken of the terrifying moment a crane collapsed and smashed into a roof.

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Emergency crews closed a large section at the bottom of Leith Walk following the incident on Stead’s place.

Photo: David ArmstrongPhoto: David Armstrong
Photo: David Armstrong

Two patients were treated for injuries at the scene, including the crane driver. It’s not known what caused part of the crane to collapse. But workers at the site said that the driver was still inside when weight-bearing concrete blocks broke off after a ‘malfunction’.

Graham Beech from the Carpet Bargain Store told the Evening News: “I heard an almighty bang and the building shook. I ran outside and saw a couple of neighbours standing. Loads of emergency services arrived soon after. Then I heard from one of my neighbours that a crane had collapsed, after they had been round and seen it. This part of Leith Walk is closed now as I suspect they are checking if everyone is okay. It’s absolute pandemonium.”

Another worker who had arrived for his shift said: “I just got here but we are not allowed in. We have tried calling the site manager but not getting an answer. It’s terrible what has happened. I hope my colleagues are all okay.”

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A stonemason working on a roof in Albert Street said he had seen a crane “fall out of the sky”.

Photo: David ArmstrongPhoto: David Armstrong
Photo: David Armstrong

Several shops had to shut up for the day following the incident. Cornelius Beer and Wine on Leith Walk notified customers on social media that they would likely be closed for the day on Tuesday.

Pedestrians and motorists were advised to avoid the area and the road remained closed between Leith Walk and Pilrig Street while emergency services made the area safe.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 9.28am on Tuesday, 28 November to reports of a collapsed crane at a building site on Leith Walk, Edinburgh.

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“Operations Control mobilised four fire appliances and four specialist resources, where crews worked to support their partners.

"Firefighters left the scene after ensuring the area had been made safe."