Nova Scotia

Halifax construction collapse site on Lucknow Street to be demolished

A demolition plan is being developed by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour as they investigate what caused a building in south-end Halifax to collapse while under construction.

Worker trapped Monday at 1122 Lucknow St. was not seriously injured

A three-storey wood frame addition under construction on Lucknow Street collapsed on Monday, and the Nova Scotia Department of Labour is now investigating the causes before a demolition safety plan can be developed. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

A demolition plan is being developed by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour as they investigate what caused a building in south-end Halifax to collapse while under construction.

Tina Thibeau, a spokesperson for the department, said the stop work order issued on Monday for 1122 Lucknow St. will remain in effect as officials work out how to bring the building down safely.

"The property owners have also been ordered to secure the site," Thibeau wrote in an email to CBC News.

"The department is conducting a full investigation into the actual cause of the collapse and to determine if proper training, equipment, procedures and supervision were in place."

On Monday, the wooden structure of the building's addition collapsed, trapping and injuring one worker who was later rescued by fire crews.

Thibeau says the department's investigation will include a structural analysis of the building, gathering evidence at the scene and taking statements from those who were working at the site. 

All day on Lucknow Street, onlookers stopped to gawk at the addition lying in ruins beside the older house. One neighbour, who saw the structure crumble, said it reminded her of a pile of matches.

'Right now the structure is compromised'

Scott Nauss, regional director of the provincial Department of Labour, spent the morning at the scene, making sure the structure was stable and tenants of a rooming house next door could go home safely.

Scott Nauss, with the Department of Labour, was at the site on Tuesday and said charges could be laid after the investigation is complete. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

"Right now the structure is compromised, so we want to be sure that anybody that may enter or may need to enter the building is safe," he said.

The worker who was trapped at the scene on Monday was not seriously injured. 

The owner of the building is a numbered company. Local developer Clark Wilkins is one of the directors. Wilkins bought the property, complete with a development permit, in January.

Wilkins also directs Metro Premier Properties, a Dartmouth-based development company. The price on Red Door Realty's listing for the property was $1.2 million.

Brendan Elliott, a spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Municipality, said the building's foundation and footing had been inspected and approved before the collapse. The wooden structure had not yet been inspected. 

Nauss said the investigation could lead to charges.

"There's a parallel ongoing investigation on the building inspection side," he said.

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