Esquimalt construction site collapse leads to evacuation of two neighbouring buildings

Esquimalt construction site collapse leads to evacuation of two neighbouring buildings

Esquimalt fire was called to a construction site Tuesday morning after a collapse of shoring in the excavation site.

Steve Serbic, Esquimalt’s fire chief, says for about the past month, there have been excavators at the site digging a hole at 666 Admirals Rd. for development.

“There’s just excavators and they’re digging a big hole, so they’re probably down 30 feet, and they’ve been building shoring as their machines are working,” Serbic said.

“And right in the middle of that excavation, one of their shoring walls collapsed, which brought down a roadway next to a building, which has now made that building right beside it, and the building adjacent to it, possibly unstable.”

The buildings at 656 Admirals Rd. and 655 Constance Ave. have been evacuated as a precaution until the engineers can complete the assessment.

Serbic says there were no injuries and the construction site supervisor “made the right call.”

“Everything was done very well, that site supervisor made the right call, and the crews did the right thing when they arrived, now the engineers are going to assess the situation,” Serbic said. “Actually for a collapse to happen, it actually went seamlessly all because that supervisor made the call very early.”

Wally Underwood, who lives in one of the evacuated buildings, says last night he felt a rumbling while he was in the apartment but thought it was a large truck driving past.

“I felt some tremors, and I thought it was just big trucks,” Underwood said. “Everyone is kind of shocked, and it was a rude awakening for some of us because some of us work late nights.”

A shuttle came to pick up residents to bring them to the Archie Browning Sports Centre so they could wait while an assessment is done on the two evacuated buildings to see if residents could return.

Residents were permitted briefly to go into their apartments to grab some items before heading to Archie Browning.

Neal Widdifield, assistant fire chief with Esquimalt fire says crews are waiting for a structural engineer and geotechnical engineer to arrive and say what will be going on.

WorkSafeBC says one of its officers will attend the scene.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!