Nadia Jones had a two-metre high wall fall on her garden tool shed over the weekend, missing her by a few minutes.
She said she had been busy in her garden and had gone inside her home at Evergreen Retirement Village in Starke Road, Bergvliet, when there had been a loud crash.
Ross Demolition were removing three old houses on Saturday May 12 to make way for a block of flats (“Flats plans raises ire,” Bulletin March 30, 2017).
Ms Jones said she had been in her shed, next to the boundary wall, earlier that morning, repotting orchids. Having run out of potting soil, she had gone into the house and missed a shower of bricks by seconds.
“I was surprised that Ross Demolition were working on a Saturday,” she said. “Luckily for me, they only started trying to pull down the two-storey wall of a house after I’d left.
“Things went horribly wrong when they used their huge mechanical arm to pull the wall over, and a whole section of the wall exploded outwards sending bricks and rubble flying over the boundary wall and crashing through the roof of my tool shed, dragging a live electric perimeter fence with it.”
Ms Jones said one of the bricks had fallen through the roof above, hitting the spot where she had been working moments earlier.
“Had I still been working there I don’t think my skull would have stood a chance against falling bricks from two storeys up,” said Ms Jones, criticising the extent of the firm’s safety measures.
“At no time were we warned that potentially dangerous demolition was about to take place. I also question why they were working on a Saturday,” she said.
Cobus Bedeker, development director of Evergreen Lifestyle Retirement Villages, said no walls had been damaged during the demolition process.
“The electric fence between the existing Evergreen village and the construction property was damaged, but reinstated shortly thereafter,” he said.
The damage caused, he said, had been accidental and was unfortunate as it was the last bit of demolition work to be carried out on the project. No-one had been inured, he said.
Mr Bedeker said residents had been notified on Wednesday April 18 about the construction work.
“Any damage caused during the demolition work will be reinstated to its original state by the demolition contractor,” said Mr Bedeker.
Robert Ross, of Ross Demolition, said they had been within their right to work on a Saturday.
“The City allows us to work a normal day, from 8am to 5pm,” he said.
Mr Ross was speaking from New Zealand and his sister Ivy Ross, who also works in the company, described the incident as a minor incident and said the electric fence had been fixed immediately.