Scaffolding collapses in severe winds, causing major disruption
St Anne’s and Bayside Comprehensive schools will remain closed today after scaffolding in the area collapsed in strong winds.
Video posted on social media showed the scaffolding around Ocean Spa Plaza being ripped from the building, which is still under construction.
There are no reports of any injuries.
The Royal Gibraltar Police has sealed off the area and traffic coming in from Spain is being diverted around the east side of the Rock.
The RGP is urging people to avoid any unnecessary travel today, particularly in the north district where both vehicles and pedestrians can expect disruption and delays.
St Martin’s school has also been closed after a tree fell in its garden.
All other schools remain open but the government has said it will not treat any absences as unauthorised if parents prefer to keep children at home.
The Gibraltar Government has issued a severe weather warning.
Severe gale force winds of up to 56 knots are expected for much of the day.
A storm update this lunchtime:
Gusts of wind reached 107 kilometres an hour down the runway at lunchtime today, with traffic in the area experiencing delays due to road closures.
A tree has fallen at Westside Secondary School, no one has been reported as hurt and the school remains open.
The roof of Notre Dame School was blown off, all pupils were safe and parents were asked to collect them from school.
“There has been damage to a structure in the Notre Dame School Playground. Nobody has been hurt and all children and staff are safe indoors. Individual families are being contacted and can pick up their children if they wish to take them home. Otherwise, children will be kept safe inside and looked after at school for the rest of the day,” a Government statement read.
An RGP police officer was involved in an accident on Winston Churchill Avenue. Police confirmed that the officer underwent treatment at the scene by ambulance personnel.
The RGP took to Twitter to report the incident and to ask the public to refrain from posting photographs of the scene.
“The RGP are dealing with a traffic accident involving an injured colleague. We would ask that photos are not circulated of the officer (or any other person injured) at this difficult time. #Respect #Police #Family,” the Tweet read.
A section of the roof at Eroski Center came loose, the supermarket immediately had its maintenance team on site repairing the damage. A spokesperson for the store, said the shop was open and there is no safety issues to concern shoppers.
Ocean Spa Plaza issued a statement giving an update on their site and the scaffolding that had collapsed there.
It said, “At approximately 02.30 this morning, severe gale force winds penetrated the protective covering on the upper floors of the Ocean Spa Plaza site and tore apart many dozens of steel eye bolts and bent the scaffolding poles.”
“As a result, a portion of the site scaffolding became unsecure and was detached from the building,” it said.
“Teams have been on site assessing the situation and are now securing other parts of the site with taut ropes and other safety apparatus,” it added.
Waves have been lashing the coastline of the Rock, with water gushing up sandy beaches or over mole walls.
Photos by Johnny Bugeja, Eyleen Sheil and Stephen Ignacio