Fourteen businesses remain behind fire danger zone

Dramatic footage of firefighters tackling the blaze on the roof top at Primark. See dramatic video footage online at: https://bit.ly/2wsIHid
Dramatic footage of firefighters tackling the blaze on the roof top at Primark. See dramatic video footage online at: https://bit.ly/2wsIHid

Fourteen businesses remain within the safety exclusion zone around the shell of the former Primark premises in Belfast City Centre.

As the recovery operation continued following the fire at Bank Buildings, Belfast City Council hosted another multi-agency meeting at City Hall on Thursday morning to share information on the current situation and coordinate further actions. Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Deirdre Hargey said the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has worked round the clock to extinguish the fire and keep the public safe, and it was encouraging that the cordon has been reduced.

“Fourteen businesses remain within the cordon and we have uploaded a copy of the map on our website www.belfastcity.gov.uk/news

“Council is committed to doing everything it can to assist in the recovery operation and keep Belfast city centre open for business, and it’s important that as a city, we rally round to support those affected by this devastating event.

“The first priority for all those involved in the recovery operation must be to make the building and surrounding area safe. Bank Buildings is an important part of Belfast’s built heritage and the damage to this beautiful building has caused a real sense of sadness and shock.”

Every effort will be made to preserve the building and save the façade; structural engineers continue to assess the building as far as is possible. She added that this is “a complex piece of bespoke engineering and it will be some time before the building can be properly assessed”.

The council is liaising with Primark to assist, should they wish to seek alternative accommodation within the city centre, she added.