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Gangway on HMS Belfast collapses

Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 1 comment

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A gangway between HMS Belfast and the shore collapsed into the River Thames this lunchtime.

Three workmen aboard the gangway reportedly scrambled clear as it fell into the water. London Ambulance Service took two people with “minor injuries” to St Thomas’ Hospital.

Lifeboats from the RNLI station at Tower Hill attended the scene, although luckily nobody fell into the river. The 170 people aboard Belfast are now being evacuated by boat.

London Fire Brigade attended the scene to repair the gangway. The fire service were, ironically, due to carry out a training exercise aboard her this afternoon.

Belfast, a Town-class light cruiser originally commissioned in 1939, is a museum ship operated by the Imperial War Museum.

The IWM has stated that Belfast will remain closed to the public until further notice.

It is not known why the gangway collapsed, although other reports suggest that it was undergoing maintenance at the time.

editor’s note: if you are the person who took the picture on the left, please get in touch – unfortunately I can’t find the person who posted it on Twitter!

Our reader Niyanta Shah sent us this picture of the collapsed gangway, from a different angle.

Credit: Niyanta Shah

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