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Two men say they are lucky to be alive after narrowly avoiding falling rubble in Roper Road in Canterbury

By Aidan Barlow

Two university workers say they are lucky to be alive after heavy rubble fell from a roof in Roper Road in Canterbury.

The heavy rubble fell from the divide from the Churchill Retirement Apartments onto the street below, narrowly missing Dr Jeremy Kendall and Shane Watters who were walking below.

Police have been at the scene after part of a building collapsed

Dr Kendall, 48, a senior lecturer in social policy at the University of Kent, said he and Mr Watters were returning to the university after overseeing exams at Canterbury College.

He said: "We were walking along and were alerted to the noise of something in front of us. There was lots of smoke and dust everywhere.

Shane Wattens and Jeremy Kendall narrowly avoided the falling rubble

"At first we thought it was a builder carrying out work and throwing things down to a skip below. But we saw no builder on the roof, and no skip below.

"We realised the partition had just collapsed in great big blocks."

Rubble is seen in the street in Roper Road, Canterbury

Mr Watters, 34, a quality assurance manager at the School of Sociology, said: "It happened tremendously quickly.

"I was quite concerned that another wall further along also seemed to be beginning to fall. So one man helped us to secure the area and warn people not to park or walk near it."

Dr Kendall said it was a narrow escape for both of them. He added: "We are lucky to be alive. One person who saw it from further away said that our guardian angel must have been looking after us today.

"If we had been ten seconds ahead we probably would have kicked the bucket."

Part of a roof appears damaged

Police spokesman Jon Green said police were at the scene within 15 minutes to help secure the danger.

He said: "A large amount of rubble has fallen and it narrowly missed the person below. The local authority was notified, and engineers called out.

"They are now investigating the building, and the others nearby because they are of the same design."

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