Tragedy hit Melbourne just before 3pm on Thursday March 28 when a brick wall on a construction site in Swanston Street collapsed, killing two students and seriously injured a third pedestrian who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Not since the collapse of the West Gate Bridge has Melbourne seen such an event, an event that is reminiscent of an war zone, earth quake, tsunami, flood or a terrorist bomb blast overseas.
The wall collapsed when a gust of wind in Melbourne hit and blew it over, killing the unsuspected pedestrians.
Clearly the wall was not supported or engineered to withstand the lateral forces that eventually brought it collapsing down. The building site was left in an unsafe condition for years whilst developers and city planners toiled over what to do with the site. There was insufficent bracing or reinforcement to secure the wall in a stable position.
Excavations, heavy rain and weather conditions all played a roll in the wall's collapse.
Questions are being ask who was responsible for the accident, Developers, City Planners, Work Safe Building Safety Inspectors, City Council Engineering Services?
The accident will be the focus of a Corner's Court and work Safety investigation. It must not be just listed as a freak accident due to extreme weather conditions. Clearly there was negligence in administration. This must not be allowed to happen again. Safety guidelines, development plans and inspection procedures must be reviewed and changes made to enforce public safety standards.
Link: For more analysis on the wall's history and its collapse by Butterpaper