Condemned police station collapses in Trinidad

The old Besson Street Police Station which residents fear could collapse onto surrounding streets after a main support beam was accidentally destroyed during demolition work yesterday.

(Trinidad Newsday) East Port of Spain residents are concerned that a demolition mishap which made part of the old Besson Street Police Station collapse could destroy their homes. A key support beam was destroyed by accident during demolition of the station yesterday.

Newsday understands a worker was operating an excavator at around 10 am when he destroyed the beam and the middle of the building buckled under its own weight. Rubble fell onto Piccadilly and Besson streets, leaving them impassable.

Police said they were not called in to supervise the roads during construction and only found out about the collapse when their colleagues on patrol saw it and told them.

An officer said, “They are normally supposed to have us out here to make sure the roadway is clear, but they tried to do it themselves. When we were told about it, we came out immediately and closed off this part of the street.”

Police kept a watchful eye on the continuing demolition at the back of the station while ensuring traffic flowed from Lodge Road onto Piccadilly Street.

Residents living near to the site said they were concerned about the building’s structural integrity and feared it could collapse at any minute. Humphrey Bonaparte said children were accustomed playing in the street and called on the authorities to break down the station as quickly as possible to prevent injuries.

“I was just passing from buying a roti around the corner when I came back and saw the middle of the building sinking. They (contractors) need to do something about this. Look at all the children passing up and around here now. It is ridiculous.”

Authorities said while residents of Clifton Towers were not in any immediate danger, homeowners across the street from the police station were told to evacuate.

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