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Families to take legal action as investigation into 40ft flats plunge is launched
3:01pm Monday 11th February 2013 in News
IT HAS been a nightmare.
Those are the words of a Hampshire dad after an investigation was launched into how his son and a friend plunged 40ft from a new apartment block.
Wayne Terrey spoke to the Daily Echo after his son, Joe, 23, and his pal Jordan Geary, 22, suffered “life-changing injuries” in November when both fell through a glass vent.
Talking exclusively about the incident, Wayne revealed how:
- His son Joe only came out of a wheelchair at the start of February, after having metal plates fitted into his left arm and right leg;
- Jordan was forced to spend Christmas Day in hospital after lying in a coma for almost five weeks;
- The families are now launching a legal battle against the Hampshire homebuilder.
It comes as the Daily Echo today reveals that a formal investigation has been launched into the incident.
The Health and Safety Executive have confirmed that it is carrying out an inquiry into the fall, which happened at the Brunswick Place development, in Totton.
And the Daily Echo can also reveal that homebuilders Linden Homes is now set to install urgent safety precautions at a host of its other developments across the south.
As previously reported, Jordan was left in a coma after plunging from the stairwell of the apartment block where he lived, while Joe, from Cadnam, suffered a broken arm, dislocated elbow, a broken ankle and several broken toes in the incident.
Linden Homes bosses boarded up the automatic opening vent on the third floor of the building, after the entire pane of glass gave way under the weight of the men.
The firm has now taken similar measures at a host of its other developments, through fear that other vents are unsafe.
The Daily Echo has learned that boards have been put in place inside other blocks of flats across Hampshire, including the Splash development in Ocean Village, Kimber House in Southampton High Street, Ensign House in Bursledon and the Hut Farm Place building, in Chandler’s Ford.
Pictures sent in by a resident at one of the properties show that landlords have also put signs in place, stating that the “temporary boarding will be replaced by guardings within the next four to five weeks”.
And the homeowner, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Daily Echo that Linden Homes chiefs have taken the same action at properties in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.
Speaking to the Daily Echo back in November, Wayne urged the Health and Safety full investigation, posing questions over the thickness of the glass used in the automatic opening vent on the third floor of the block.
And the family also demanded answers as to why there were no barriers outside the vent, to prevent the men from tumbling to the ground.
Last night Wayne Terrey said: “Both the boys have had life-changing injuries.
They’re both lucky to be alive, but they’re alive and that’s the main thing.
“They’re both making a recovery, but it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight.
“This accident happened in November. Why has it taken Linden Homes until February to board up the rest of the vents?
“And how has it got through all the building checks in the first place?
Surely there should be tighter controls and closer inspections before the safety certificates are given out?
“I’m just glad it’s been stopped now and that no other family has had to go through what we have.
“It’s been a nightmare.”
A spokesperson for Linden Homes said: “The HSE’s investigation is ongoing and we’re continuing to co-operate with it.
“Until it is complete we are not in a position to comment on the details of the incident.
Boards have been put up in place of the windows as a temporary measure until we are able to carry out a permanent repair.