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Building work restarts at Swain's Lane fatal explosion site

PUBLISHED: 11:07 27 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:16 27 July 2017

Building work has restarted on a development at Swain's lane, Highgate. Picture: EMILY BANKS

Building work has restarted on a development at Swain's lane, Highgate. Picture: EMILY BANKS

Archant

Building work at a site where a man was killed following an explosion has restarted before the official investigation has concluded.

A man in his 50s was taken to an east London hospital after the explosion in Swains Lane but later died. Picture: Sarah LawrenceA man in his 50s was taken to an east London hospital after the explosion in Swains Lane but later died. Picture: Sarah Lawrence

As reported in the Ham&High in March, a man in his 50s was airlifted to hospital where he later died after the explosion on the corner of Highgate West Hill.

Before the original construction work commenced, Camden Council had told developers to report on the measures needed to make the plot safe to redevelop.

An analysis by Chelmer Consultancy Services (CCS) identified fuel tanks, filler pipes and an oil interceptor on site and recommended remedial work.

The CCS document stated: “the site is not considered to pose an unacceptable risk to ground workers, provided that appropriate health and safety protocols are employed.”

Demolition of a filling station and parade of shops began a month before the blast shocked residents neighbouring the site of a former 1920s shopping parade sold by the Earl of Listowel to developer Noble House in 2016.

Speaking after the explosion chairman of the Swain’s Lane Residents and Neighbourhood Watch Association Dr John M Slater said residents had expressed concerns about possible contamination from buried petrol tanks at the site “over a long period”.

A spokeswoman for the Health and Safety Executive – involved in the official probe – said this week: “The police led investigation is on-going.

“We served prohibition notices to halt demolition work that have been complied with therefore it is now possible for the works to recommence on the building site.”

Site developer Noble House was unavailable for comment.

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