Published: 00:01, 28 June 2014
Every glass panel on one of Chatham Waterside’s prestigious apartment blocks is being inspected after one fell 11 storeys, smashing into an area where skateboarders practise.
The 8ft by 5ft pane shattered on the ground and, according to one resident, could have killed someone if it had fallen on them.
The company that manages the building has started an investigation to see what caused it and is now inspecting every glass panel in the tower block.
The incident happened during strong winds at the Marina Point West development at The Quays, said Mainstay, the company that manages the building.
The high-rise tower has 21 storeys and is one of Medway’s tallest landmarks, standing 55 metres high. It houses 118 apartments and two penthouses.
It emerged this week that a large strengthened safety glazing panel shattered into small pieces and fell to the ground, about three weeks ago.
One resident, who lives in its sister tower, Marina Point East, Finbarr Ward, 57, disputed that wind was a factor.
“It happened about three weeks ago and fell where the skateboarders practise on the wharf,” he said.
“If someone had been down there at the time, they could have been killed if it had fallen on them.
“I have lived here for several years and I know when it is a windy night. It never was that night.
“The windows are designed with a bend in them to cope with wind stress, so why did it happen?
“It frightens me because if it happened to one window it could happen to others.
“Residents here were not made aware of the danger and it was just cleared up in a hurried manner, and they [the management] didn’t really want us to know about it.”
A spokesperson for Mainstay said: “During the exceptionally strong winds, a strengthened safety glazing panel shattered and small pieces fell to the ground.
“We are pleased to report that no one was injured and no other building damage was suffered.
“It frightens me because if it happened to one window it could happen to others" - Finbarr Ward
“The area was immediately cordoned off to protect residents and members of the public and, as soon as weather conditions permitted, a contractor removed all remaining broken glass and effected a temporary repair.”
The firm said: “Detailed investigations into the cause of the problem are being conducted by a chartered building surveyor and are ongoing.
“The building surveyor will also determine the correct repair method and a thorough external inspection of each panel will be conducted,” the spokesman added.
“The comfort and safety of residents and the general public is of paramount importance and, as such, it is expected that the current investigation will be thorough and conclusive to avoid any incidents of this nature in the future.”
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