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Lurgan road sealed off amid collapse fears

The William Street building

The William Street building

A major arterial road was shut down yesterday amid fears that a building may be about to collapse.

The scene on William Street in central Lurgan was sealed off by police, cutting much of the town off from the motorway and train station.

One councillor in the area said he believes the building itself – which he described as an abandoned office-type building, standing three storeys high – would be at least partially demolished this morning.

SDLP councillor Joseph Nelson said that their own party office was only a few doors away, and that some members of the public had come in to report the unstable building.

The authorities were then contacted, and a cordon put in place.

When he spoke to the News Letter last night he said both sides of the street were closed off to pedestrians and to traffic.

He said: “People have been concerned before that it was an abandoned building and a bit of an eyesore.

“I think for some time there’d been cracks appearing in it; for the last few weeks.”

He said that the council has an obligation to make a building safe, and that if the owner cannot be found straight away, or is unable to do it, then it will move in and take matters into its own hands.

“At 8am (today) it’s coming down,” he said.

“That’s my understanding. It’ll be made secure by demolishing whichever parts of it are dangerous at the moment.”

He said there had been quite a heavy police presence around the site, and that some residents had assumed it was a bomb scare.

In April, a pub in Church Place – just off William Street – was destroyed when a blaze consumed it, leading to traffic disruption.

 

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