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Two injured as scaffolding collapses

Debris: Three people were taken to hospital following the incident in Reading, Berkshire

THREE people have been taken to hospital after scaffolding collapsed in Reading.

A site worker at the former Friars Walk Shopping Centre was treated for a head injury, while a man and a woman were seen for suspected shock and an ankle injury, respectively.

None of the three was seriously hurt in the accident shortly after 11.15am today.

Cause: An investigation has been launched PICTURES: PA

Tony Heselton, incident commander for South Central Ambulance Service, said: ‘Our emergency operations control room team took upwards of 10 emergency calls from around 11.15am all reporting a scaffolding collapse at the former Friars Walk Shopping Centre.

‘We have assessed three patients who sustained minor injuries as a result of the collapse.

‘We are remaining on scene to support colleagues from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.’

Firefighters used thermal imaging equipment to search for anyone who may have been trapped.

Response: Emergency services at the scene of the scaffold collapse

Pictures posted online showed a section of scaffolding surrounding a large building had collapsed in Garrard Street, covering part of the road.

Thames Valley Police advised people to avoid the area, with Garrard Street closed in both directions and congestion in Greyfriars Road.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) spokesman said: ‘We are aware of an incident and are making initial inquiries.’

A firefighter at the scene said no one had been found trapped under the wreckage.

The site was being demolished as part of a major redevelopment in the town centre and was previously used as retail and office space, Reading council said.