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Holborn building collapse: Man injured and hundreds cleared from area after construction site incident

13Hundreds of people were cleared from an area of central London and at least one person was injured after a building collapsed at a construction site today.
Emergency services were called to Serle Street and Portugal Street in Holborn after witnesses reported hearing a “massive crash” and seeing plumes of dust.
A 56-year-old man was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital with head and hip injuries after the incident at around 4.15 this afternoon.
Around 200 people were cleared from the area and an air ambulance was seen arriving at nearby Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Mary-Anne Constable, a 27-year-old events manager, told the Standard: “It was like a loud, thunderous sound, and then everyone piled out to see what had happened.
“There’s lots of dust in the air still after half an hour so that gives you an idea of the scale of it.
“They’ve completely cordoned off the area. They had been deconstructing the building there so it will have sped things up.”
Another witness tweeted: “Was having a quiet pint down the road when this metallic roar drowned all out. Looks like the roof caved in.”
He added: “[There was a] huge roar, dust cloud came out the site, [I] turned the corner to see the collapsed building.”
And others reported feeling their buildings shake near the junction of Portugal Street and Serle Street in Aldwych – a busy area in the West End.
John Snelgrove, who was at the scene for the London Fire Brigade, said: “When the first crews arrived they found the building, which was under refurbishment had collapsed between the fifth and second floors.
“Firefighters gave first aid to an injured man on site until ambulance crews arrived and also helped police put safety cordons in place and to evacuate people from the immediate area.”
The six storey building is under demolition and part of the building’s structure, as well as the scaffolding surrounding it, has collapsed, the fire service said.
Around 100 people were cleared from the building site and a further 100 people have been cleared from neighbouring buildings as a precaution.
Two fire engines from Soho, three fire rescue units from East Ham, Edmonton and Heston and around 31 firefighters and officers are attending.
The London School of Economics Students’ Union’s Twitter account tweeted a picture of the scene and said it was “just by” the LSE campus.
A spokeswoman for the Met said: “We were called at 4.14pm to reports of a partially collapsed building on a building site. One man, aged 56, was being treated at the scene.