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It was a bad way to start the week – but it could have been much worse.

Scaffolding crashed down from a building on Gillygate on Monday (June 19) but fortunately no one was hurt.

The scaffolding landed at the top of the street, at its junction with Bootham.

Witnesses said an articulated lorry caught one of the poles as it turned, bringing the lot down.

The road was closed to traffic when the accident happened at 8am. It reopened at 1.30pm, when all the scaffolding was cleared.

The road was completely cut off
Another view from Bootham

The accident also brought down the pedestrian signal from the traffic lights.

A window was smashed above the Sound Organisation shop in the accident, and the Bet Fred bookies was also damaged.

Cars and buses were diverted away from Gillygate at its northern junction with Lord Mayor’s Walk until the scaffolding was cleared.

‘Lorry caught one of the poles’

Mitchell Smith, from Findley Roofing & Building – which is working on the Sound Organisation building but not responsible for the scaffolding – explained what happened.

“We got here 15 minutes before it actually happened. We were just down the road,” he told David Dunning of Minster FM.

We got a contractor from the painters to do the windows.

He says there was an artic and the back of the trailer has caught one of the poles – he’s swung too early – and he’s taken the scaffolding.

But he’s taken it further away than where the actual scaffolding was in place. He’s ended up dragging it a few feet.

It’s landed there and they’ve done a bit of damage to Bet Fred, and damage to the main property.

We’re all very lucky that no one’s been hurt, and no vehicles have been damaged.

– Mitchell Smith

Health and Safety Exec involved

A window was smashed in the accident
Workmen are on the scene clearing up the obstacles. Pedestrian access to Gillygate remains open.

The owner of Sound Organisation, Hamish MacDiarmid, said the scaffolding was in place so builders could fix the roof and the woodwork at the front could be painted.

He told David Dunning that “the lorry driver clipped the scaffolding and knocked it down”.

The shop is normally closed on Mondays anyway, and would be reopened tomorrow.

‘Thanks for your patience’

Neil Ferris, City of York Council director of economy and place, said: “We are relieved that no-one has been injured and thank everyone for your patience with this matter.

“We are working with the police and will work with any health and safety investigation and have confirmed that the building is safe.”

Police were at the scene
Workmen coning off the pavement
A workman removes the remaining damaged glass
Another view of the damaged window
The Sound Organisation sign was damaged too
The pedestrian signal pole which was brought down
Police at the scene
The view down a deserted Gillygate

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