Members of the public were put in danger in Northern Sydney this week after a combination of poor work and bad weather caused part of a building site and driveway to collapse.
The incident happened at a three-storey Collaroy unit block where debris and construction material fell into a pit. Both police and fire services attended the incident and authorities struggled to secure the scene with the heavy rain and wind.
On top of this, a gas main was ruptured in the collapse and forced the evacuated of 12 nearby units and residents were forced from their homes for the night.
Geotechnical engineer David Dickson on August 19 told The Australian that the problem may have been caused by poor workmanship.
“It’s unfortunate that this continuing wet weather appears to have softened the ground around and they’ve had a collapse due to inadequate shoring,” he explained in The Australian article.
NSW police said the evacuations would remain in place until the area is safe enough. Structural engineers were also assigned to the site to assess the risk of any further collapses.
Neighbour Wendy Hill told Fairfax Media that she alerted authorities to the problem during the night.
“At five o’clock this morning we heard this massive crash and I knew, then, that something had happened. We came out here [to the balcony] and we could smell gas,” she said.
According to Ms Hill, several other concrete piers had fallen down over the last month as they weren’t anchored. She explained that a geotechnical engineer had advised the site’s western wall could collapse at any point.
“We’re obviously very nervous. We really think that this is a council issue. Council approved this development [but] it was way too big for this site,” she said.
Public liability claims in NSW
If you suffer an injury in a public place due to poor workmanship or neglect, and you believe that the owner or a third party was responsible, you may be eligible to make a public liability injury claim.
To support your claim, you must have evidence that the situation was dangerous and that the employees or the owner failed to meet their duty of care responsibility. It is recommended that you contact a compensation lawyer who can advise you on how make your claim and assist you through the process.
These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis, so they can advise you on your chances for success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it’s completely up to you whether you engage their services.