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UPDATED: Chapel Collapses in Launceston

Launceston Collapsed Chapel
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5:43am 29th November 2013
(Updated 5:43am 29th November 2013)

Demolition work is due to start at the site of the chapel collapse in Launceston.

Engineers say they have to make the site safe - and warn that will mean disruption.

It is after fire crews scouring the wreckage of a collapsed chapel in Launceston confirmed they have not found anyone trapped inside.

Teams sent in a search and rescue dog after it happened on Castle Street in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue said: "At just before 0030hrs this morning, a call was made to the police reporting that a building had collapsed with debris in the street.

"Firefighters from Launceston Community Fire Station were mobilised and confirmed that a partial collapse of a large chapel building had occurred.

"Firefighters initiated a search using a thermal imaging camera and a Search & Rescue (SAR) dog and specialist Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) Team from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service's headquarters near Exeter were requested.

"Firefighters from Launceston and Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service have completed a full search, within their capability, of the building and vicinity. No-one has been found trapped. The firefighters have made up their equipment and have now left the incident in care of Cornwall Council Building Control."

Locals living near the site say they heard rumbling noises from inside the building in the days running up to the collapse.

In a statement on his blog, local councillor Alex Folkes said: "It looks like the top half of the building will have to be brought down to make it safe. Once that has happened, the surveyors and other experts will decide if anything more needs to happen.

"Cormac have been back to fence off the site. In the event that there is a further collapse then anyone outside the fencing will be safe. However, the site is exceptionally dangerous and so no one should consider going through the fencing as you risk serious injury or worse.

"This, inevitably, means that Castle Street will remain closed for a while. The road down to Eagle House has been made two way on a temporary basis, but is narrow and so drivers should exercise a lot of care. The road past the Job Centre has also been temporarily designated as being two way to the junction with Castle Street."

5:43am 29th November 2013

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