The huge raft of scaffolding buckled onto the road outside the north London hospital shortly before 3pm this afternoon
High winds caused a large section of scaffolding outside a busy hospital in north London to collapse this afternoon.
Shocking images show the entire wall of scaffolding collapsed in the middle of the road outside the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead.
One eyewitness described how “there was an awful lot of screaming” as the scaffolding “buckled” and came away.
Another said his partner said “she’d nearly been killed” after the scaffolding almost hit the bus she was travelling on.
Footage shows the four-storey scaffolding blocking the road as police direct traffic.
Emergency services are at the scene but it’s not clear if anyone has been injured.
A video from the scene shows people gathering as the road is blocked off.
Eyewitness Hilary Barnes described the dramatic scenes to the New Journal saying: “I was going up towards to Hampstead and we stopped outside M&S – thank god.
“As we were waiting there this whole thing, it goes up the whole of the building, it started to very slowly go outward and then it buckled. It was extraordinary.
“There was an awful lot of screaming. Ambulances were charging down there within seconds. It looked like the wind caught the polythene and the scaffolding came away. I am sure there will be casualties as it is so busy, with the schools and the Royal Free.”
Traffic in the area is gridlocked as police and emergency services attend the scene
One man told the Ham&High that his partner had been on a bus that was almost crushed by the scaffolding.
He said: “She just called me in a panic, said she’d nearly been killed.”
Hampstead Town councillor Maria Higson was at the scene and told the Ham&High: “From what I’ve been told there was a little bit of warning, bricks falling from the building, and thank god that must have given everyone enough time to get out from underneath it.
“A lady came past and she had foil in her hair – she had came out of the hairdressers underneath where the scaffolding came down and couldn’t get back in. She was standing there with the foil still in her hair.”
“So it doesn’t seem that there’s been anyone injured. It’s an absolute miracle. The police have been sterling, as ever.”
A fire brigade spokesperson said: “We were called to reports of a scaffolding collapse on the roadway in Pond Street.
“We currently have two fire engines and three fire rescue units on the scene. We were called at 14.48.”