“We ran for our lives”: Workers escape collapsing office block in Holborn


Six storey building gave way without warning

Holborn has been hit hard in the last fortnight. First there was the underground electrical fire, then the UK’s largest diamond heist, and now the central London area is hitting headlines again after a six storey office block collapsed, sending workers running for their lives.

Huge plumes of dust were sent into the air after the top three floors of the building fell in.

The building was undergoing demolition to make way for a new seven-storey residential development, and construction workers were on site during the incident.

A 56-year old man was taken to hospital with serious head and hip injuries.

Building collapse Holborn 2

Photo: Ray Tang/Rex

Over 200 people, including staff at the Royal Courts of Justice and students from the neighbouring LSE University were evacuated from the area.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, one worker said: “All we heard was a big bang and saw the dust cloud coming out. We were working on the other side of the building. We ran for our lives.”

London Fire Brigade station manager John Snelgrove said to the paper: “When the first crews arrived they found the building, which was under refurbishment, had collapsed between the fifth and second floors.

“The collapse is known as a ‘pancake’ and has taken around a third to two thirds of one of the sides down with it.”

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