The Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia is monitoring a collapse at a Coquitlam construction site that left a gaping hole in its shoring wall on Thursday.
Video posted to social media shows a crack growing in a shoring retention wall at the excavation site near Foster Avenue and North Road. Soil begins to pour out of holes at the centre of the crack, just above a row of anchor plates.
Within a minute, a massive section gives way to tonnes of soil, forming a gaping hole. As dirt piles up at the base of the site, the anchors can be seen sticking out.
“Everybody off!” the video-taker shouts, instructing others to leave the fenced-off site.
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In an emailed statement, developer Amacon said no one was hurt in the failure, whose cause is now under investigation.
“All work on site had attained the required permits, and thoroughly vetted and monitored by the geotechnical and engineering consultants,” wrote vice-president of executive operations Stepan Vdovine.
“WorkSafe has been on site and has expressed no concern regarding site safety. In addition, no immediate infrastructure damage is apparent.”
Vdovine said Amacon is working with the City of Coquitlam and other relevant authorities to remediate the site — work that will continue around the clock. The 500-block of Foster Street will remain closed to traffic and pedestrians until safety approvals are obtained, he added.
“We sincerely apologize to local residents for any inconvenience as we work diligently to secure the site.”
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The City of Coquitlam said Foster Avenue remained closed between North Road and Whiting Way to ensure site safety while work is underway to repair the shoring wall under the supervision of professional geotechin
“Emergency work will continue through the day and overnight in order to ensure the integrity of the surrounding infrastructure,” it said.
“It is expected that this work may take a few days, and we apologize to area residents for the noise of overnight work.”
The city said there were no reports of injuries or damage to municipal infrastructure.
In its own emailed statement, WorkSafe BC confirmed it’s aware of the failure and is on-site, monitoring the scene.
It had no further information to share on Thursday afternoon, it said.
The development at 500 Foster Avenue was meant to be a tower more than 40 storeys high, containing units between one bedroom and four bedrooms in size.
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