Tuesday, 28 August 2018

'Grave concern' Primark building in Belfast city centre could collapse, says fire service



There are "grave concerns" that the Primark building in Belfast city centre could collapse, the fire service has told the BBC.

 
A fire broke out in the listed five-storey Bank Buildings at about 11:00 BST on Tuesday.


About 100 firefighters are at the scene and the fire has spread to the ground floor, with ceilings giving way.


There are no reports of any injuries but police are advising people to avoid Castle Street and Royal Avenue.


The fire service said the blaze started on the fifth floor or the roof and it expects firefighters to be tackling the blaze well into Tuesday evening.
"We certainly can't guarantee the structural integrity of the building at this time," said Assistant Chief Officer Michael Graham.


"Our expectation is that the internal floors will collapse where the fire has been burning at its greatest intensity.


"We actually hope that might help the overall structure."


A police officer at the scene told BBC News NI earlier on Tuesday that structural engineers had assessed the building and said it was "at risk of imminent collapse".





BBC          News.