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On Tuesday afternoon, structures in the city center of Leeds were cleared out due to concerns of a potentially hazardous crane that could collapse.
Police and fire crews responded to an “industrial incident” at Riverside Way, resulting in the closure of surrounding roads and restricted access for pedestrians. A cordon was put in place for safety measures.
According to the West Yorkshire Police, there were no individuals present on the crane.
The fire department reported that the crane was deemed safe at approximately 5:30pm and all road closures were lifted shortly before 7pm.
The police informed bystanders that a white tower crane near Whitehall Road was at risk of collapsing.
There are two cranes situated near a partially constructed tower building, positioned between the road and the River Aire.
Police had set up a barrier along a 300m portion of Whitehall Road, just a brief distance from Leeds Station. Additionally, paths near the river were closed and being monitored by law enforcement officers.
Two employees were spotted at the peak of the crane, approximately 200 feet above ground, just before 7pm when the barricade was removed.
Two additional individuals were observed examining the cables from a suspended bucket attached to the second crane.
A nearby hotel, Premier Inn, was one of the buildings that had to be evacuated. Fire engines were seen entering and exiting the restricted area.
A bystander stated that they were informed they could not pass through due to the potential risk of the crane collapsing at any moment.
“It appears satisfactory to me, but I would prefer to keep my distance in case it falls.”
At approximately 1:35pm, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service received a call regarding an unstable structure on Riverside Way.
A representative stated that two teams from Leeds are present, handling a large crane at the site. The area has been evacuated and access is limited, with road closures in effect.
At 5:30pm, an announcement was made stating that the structure was now secure and the crews were departing. However, 30 minutes later, the fire department stated that their technical rescue team was still present at the location and intended to remain until the area was deemed safe for lifting the cordon.
The West Yorkshire Police stated that access to the area has been limited for pedestrians and road closures have been implemented. As a precaution, several buildings in the area are also being evacuated.
“Due to ongoing closures, it is advised that the public avoid this area and find alternative routes.”
National Rail has announced that there will be disruptions to services until the end of the day.
Trains passing through Leeds station may experience cancellations or delays due to an ongoing incident near the west end of the station, according to London North Eastern Railway.