DCSIMG

Rescue dog used to check building after collapse

The building in Church Square/Bridge Street  Banbridge which collapsed on Sunday afternoon  � Edward Byrne Photography INBL15-274EB

The building in Church Square/Bridge Street Banbridge which collapsed on Sunday afternoon � Edward Byrne Photography INBL15-274EB

Fire crews used a rescue dog to check that a derelict pre-war building which collapsed at Church Square in Banbridge on Sunday afternoon, was empty.

Luckily, no-one was inside the building at the time when it partially collapsed.

However, locals believe it had been used as a drinking den in the past and there were fears that someone could also have been sleeping in it.

The drama unfolded as residents heard a loud bang around 5.30pm and alerted the police who arrived at the scene to be met with the partial collapse of two walls and a roof.

Three appliances from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were deployed,one from Banbridge Fire Station, one from Lurgan as well as a Specialist Rescue Team.

When emergency crews arrived walls and a roof had collapsed.

A police spokesperson said that their first priority was to make sure that no-one was injured and that the building remained empty.

“Police in Banbridge received a report of a loud bang and dust in the Church Square area around 5.23pm on Sunday,” the spokesperson for the police said.

“NIFRS attended and the building was checked to ensure no one was inside.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said they had to use a thermal image camera to check that no-one was injured.

“Firefighters and the Specialist Rescue Team used thermal image camera and a dog to ensure there was no one in the building.” They said that incident was dealt with by 6.50pm.

Local councillor, Joan Baird said she was glad that no-one was hurt in the incident while Councillor Glenn Barr said that he was concerned that bedding was found.

“If there is bedding at all a amongst the rubble then it does imply that someone is squatting there,” Mr Barr said.

“The fire service has to be commended for their action in bringing in dogs and searching the area to make sure that the area was clear.”

 

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