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Business as usual following Birmingham crane emergency

Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police declared businessĀ as usual the morning after a major emergency operation was launched following the mechanical failure of a crane.

Engineers stabilised the 54m high structure utilising another crane at the site and will dismantle the remaining structure.

The alert was sparked at approximately 11.20amĀ on Thursday 7th April 2011 by engineers at a construction site just off Moor Street in the city centre.

Specialists conducting a routine check of the site identified a potential problem with the concrete foundations which fix the crane to the floor. As a precautionary measure, they took the decision to alert police and evacuate the site.

A major emergency operation was then launched involving police, the fire service, ambulance crews, the city council and Network Rail.

Cordons were put in place while engineers assessed the crane and worked with emergency services to identify the risk posed to the public.

For a time, there were concerns that the crane, with a 40m long arm, could collapse should the wind reach high speeds and the foundations fail.

Superintendent Matt Ward from Birmingham Central police station managed the multi-agency response. He said: “As Britain’s second city, Birmingham is well prepared for a range of emergency incidents.

“These plans are regularly tested so that each organisation knows its responsibilities and how to respond.

“When we were notified of this incident, we immediately put those plans into action.

“Working closely with construction staff, the council and other emergency services, we were able to prevent widespread disruption in the city while maintaining the safety of local people.

“I would like to thank the public for their patience during this incident and the media for helping us communicate important information.”

During the incident, the crane was continually monitored by specialist staff who provided emergency teams with regular updates.

No one was injured during the incident and local shopping centres and railway stations remained open throughout the emergency.

Cordons around the area were lifted at around 9.15pm on the evening of 7th April.

Engineers are working on site to dismantle the remaining structure. Temporary road closures may be enforced as required.

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