Wall fall drama in Popley

Basingstoke Gazette: The debris left after bricks fell from a wall of a block of garages in Popley The debris left after bricks fell from a wall of a block of garages in Popley

RESIDENTS had a lucky escape from injury after strong winds knocked over a brick wall on an estate in Basingstoke.

The damage was done to the back wall of a block of garages in Malta Close, around 7pm last Wednesday as the area was battered by wind and torrential rain.

Derek Wall was about to leave his house to visit a friend when he heard the bricks tumble.

The 63-year-old said: “My wife and I were going out, and as I waited by the front door, I heard this loud bang. It was like a sonic boom.

“I opened the door and the wall was down with four or five bricks in the garden. If we had gone out a few seconds earlier than we did, it would have hit us.”

Mr Wall, a grandfather-of-10, took a picture of the damage the next morning, and said workmen from Sentinel Housing Association, the owner of the garage block, were quick to cordon off the scene.

He added that the wall has fallen down twice before in the past 40 years.

Peter Lee, head of property services at Sentinel, said the housing association is looking into whether a recent theft of lead from the garage block had weakened the wall.

He added: “We’ve contacted our insurers and are waiting for them to get back to us so we can start on repairs.”

The incident took place on a night when high winds and heavy rain battered much of England.

While the worst of the weather took place in the north of the country, gusts of up to 53mph were recorded at the Met Office weather station at RAF Odiham.

Laura Young, press officer at the Met Office, said: “Not only did your area have strong gusts, but you also had quite a high average mean wind speed of 30mph to 32mph. With all of those factors combined, it would not have been unusual for a wall to have been blown down.”

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