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Aberdeen residents had to ‘leap’ over collapsed stairs during police evacuation of their homes

Aberdeen City Council carried out emergency repairs on the building on Friday.
Aberdeen City Council carried out emergency repairs on the building on Friday.

Residents in Aberdeen’s Bedford Road had to “leap” over a collapsed stairway during a late night police evacuation after they gave way under a delivery man’s feet.

The residents were evacuated last night after the stairway collapsed between the ground floor and the first floor in a block of flats, leaving a gap between the steps.

Police were called to the property in the Kittybrewster area of the city and confirmed residents were asked to leave their property due to concerns over the building’s safety.

Officers, who were spotted wearing hazmat suits, also called in fire crews shortly before 9pm, and they left the property across from the Kittybrewster Retail Park around 11pm.

Tenant Saoirse McIntee lives on the first floor of the building and explained that the stairs collapsed after a delivery driver had dropped food off at their flat.

She said that as the driver headed back down the stairs they “collapsed underneath him”.

Miss McIntee added: “We were really lucky he wasn’t hurt. We basically had to leap over it.

“Someone who stays here has Covid, I think that’s what the hazmat suits were for – I’m not sure but it looks like they’ve been evacuated.”

Saoirse McIntee pictured climbing the stairs to her flat on Bedford Road, Aberdeen. PIC: Kami Thomson

Residents still not able to return home

According to the student, the gap has now been fixed by Aberdeen City Council.

However, tenants are not allowed to return home until health and safety teams have approved the repairs, which could be either Saturday or even as late as Monday.

Miss McIntee and her partner stayed at a friend’s home on Thursday night and have been left to organise a hotel with their letting agents.

Tenants have been allowed to access their flats in the meantime.

The couple had noticed that the steps were “wobbly and clearly structurally unsound” several days ago.

They reported this problem to their letting agents a couple of days ago and according to Miss McIntee they were going to organise someone to investigate the issues next week.

She said: “We’re lucky it was the council’s responsibility because one of the flats is council-owned. If it wasn’t God knows when it would have been fixed.

“It’s absolute madness.”

Miss McIntee believes that although the stairs have been repaired for now they will need a full repair at some point to make them structurally sound once more.

A police spokesman confirmed: “Several residents of a building on Bedford Road, Aberdeen, have been evacuated from their homes after we received reports of building safety concerns around 8.30pm on Thursday, January 20.”

‘We cannot risk a repeat’

Councillor Michael Hutchison said he is “shocked” this happened and added: “It’s lucky nobody appears to have been hurt.”

Councillor Michael Hutchison wants the £150m city centre and beach masterplan area expanded to include more of the waterfront.
Councillor Michael Hutchison praised the council workmen for carrying out the repairs so “quickly”.

He said: “I am sure there will be an investigation into what has happened here. We cannot risk a repeat of this so we need to find out what’s gone wrong here.

“I’m pleased to hear that council workmen have stepped in and carried out an emergency repair so quickly.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “Police Scotland contacted Aberdeen City Council on the evening of January 20 to advise that there was an ongoing incident at Bedford Road involving a staircase in a block of flats.

“Aberdeen City Council have one property within the building and arrangements were made to accommodate our tenant and assistance was given to the owners to find alternative accommodation. Repairs have been carried out and residents are now returning to their properties.

“We have no records to say that anyone reported the steps to ourselves.”

 

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