Two homes come tumbling down - damage causes injuries, millions in losses

February 21, 2018
Eight people were injured when this house in Lawrence Tavern collapsed on February 3.
The view from above the collapsed house in Lawrence Tavern.
A section of the foundation is all that's left of this house that collapsed in King Weston.

In less than a month, millions of dollars have gone down the drain after two homes collapsed in west rural St Andrew communities.

Aspiring homeowners suffered tremendous losses and in one case, several persons suffered serious injuries.

The latest incident occurred on February 3, in Lawrence Tavern, where eight persons were rushed to hospital after sustaining injuries after a three-bedroom structure, which was still under construction, tumbled.

THE STAR understands that three persons, including the owner, remain hospitalised.

A resident said that broken bodies were pulled from the rubble.

"Dem lucky none nuh dead. The people dem bruck up. One man have broken back, another have a broken foot, and the other have broken limbs and is in need of surgery," the resident said.

THE STAR also gathered that a pastor, who was the electrician for the building, was also seriously injured.

THE STAR was told of another home in the neighbouring district of King Weston that suffered a similar fate on January 14.

When our news team visited that community, it was very much the same, a would-be house structure crumbled.

Luckily no one was hurt when disaster struck on that fateful Sunday afternoon.

A resident said: "The house was finished and like dem done cast the decking today, when them come back the next day, the house deh a gully. Everything mash up and bruck down. Over $3 million gone down the drain."

Another resident blamed poor engineering for the collapse.

"Man just a dig hole and put up house. (There was) no proper foundation and the area is mostly hilly terrain," the resident said.




THE STAR was told that in the February 3 incident, the Lawrence Tavern police pulled persons from the rubble and assisted the injured to hospital.

Our news team visited the police station and a senior officer with knowledge of the situation said persons build their homes wherever they choose in the area.

"If you notice the soil type up here, it is not conducive to building this type of houses. The sand content of the soil is very high and they don't take the necessary steps to mitigate against occurrences like those, which would involve some very deep foundations or some specialised building methods, maybe that the persons building here would not be able to afford," he said

The police said based on preliminary investigations, the structures were poorly constructed, as not enough steel was used and the block pockets were empty.

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