Update: Bow crane collapse

town hall

Below is a copy of an update letter sent to residents affected by the crane collapse in Gale Street, Bow. 

4 September 2020

As promised, we are writing to update you on the operation to stabilise and remove the collapsed crane in Gale Street.

Since the last update, we are pleased to have been able to arrange short visits to allow many of you to collect belongings. We appreciate how disruptive being away from home for so long must be and we hope having more of your possessions to hand is making that experience slightly easier.

There are three properties in Compton Close where the proximity to the collapsed crane makes access impossible at this stage. We are in communication with those specific residents to provide the additional support that is needed.

We know that some of you have asked why no obvious work is taking place on the site. Please be reassured that while it is true nothing visible is happening yet, there is a lot going on behind the scenes to make sure the removal can be done safely and effectively once it begins.

The complexity of the engineering challenge means specialist equipment is having to be brought in from overseas. It will then be tested in a controlled environment off site and only when it has been proven to work as intended, will it then be used in Gale Street.

As we explained in our last letter, Swan Housing is responsible for securing and removing the crane. They have appointed Keltbray, a specialist contractor, to carry out this work.

Swan have provided the following update on their work so far:

Stabilising and removing the crane remains the most complex of operations. The plan being developed involves first prioritising making the crane safe and stable, then removing the wreckage of the crane from site.  The specialist contractor and their engineers are in regular contact with the Health and Safety Executive Inspector to ensure that safety during the operation is the foremost consideration.

Significant progress has been made towards having a plan that can be safely put into operation. There are still some technical issues that need to be resolved and the crane removal project team is focused on finding the most robust solutions. 

We are still unable at this stage to give you a specific timescale for removing the crane although we are now becoming more confident that it may be possible to complete the operation within the next three months. It should, however, be noted that weather conditions, restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic and unforeseeable project delays could yet mean that the crane removal operation extends beyond this three-month timescale.

We know a number of you have also asked about security arrangements on the site. In recent weeks, a erected secure three metre hoarding has been erected along Compton Close and along Watts Grove in front of David Hewitt House. Further hoarding of the same specification has been erected to the front of Ladyfern House and work continues southwards along Gale Street to secure the site boundary.

There are uniformed security guards stationed on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week and CCTV cameras are strategically positioned to give comprehensive coverage of the secured area. Additional security measures are being introduced in specific locations as required.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you about the support available should you need it.

The council’s Residents’ Support Scheme can provide funding to help with clothing and/or food. To apply, residents can visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/RSS or call 020 7520 7217. Residents who need to request a review of a previous application should email lwpqueries@northgateps.com

When applying, it is important to explain that you have been impacted by the crane collapse as different assessment criteria will be used.

We understand that for many residents, this has been and continues to be a traumatic experience. If you need emotional and psychological support, we have made sure that the Tower Hamlets Talking Therapies team are available to help. To register with them, residents should call 0208 475 8080 from 9am to 5pm or visit www.towerhamletstalkingtherapies.nhs.uk

Your ward councillors’ details are below:

Cllr Danny Hassell                                                     


Cllr Helal Uddin                                              


To contact Gateway Housing, call 0208 709 4300 or email enquiries@gatewayhousing.org.uk

To contact Remus Management, call 020 7407 0538 or email London.admin@remus-mgmt.co.uk

As promised, we will continue to provide these monthly updates. Should anything significant change before that point, we will of course make sure you are informed as soon as possible.


Posted on Monday 7th September 2020