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Last Updated: Monday, 17 April 2006, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
More homes razed after collapse
The collapsed house in Ridley Road
Eve and Terry Shepherd were asleep when their house began to collapse
Three more homes are to be demolished on a street in south-east London where a house collapsed without warning.

Twenty properties were evacuated on Ridley Road, Bromley, when the walls of Eve and Terry Shepherd's house began cracking in the early hours of Tuesday.

Residents have spent Easter with family, or in a nearby hotel. Cracks are still appearing in the road.

Engineers will not know why the house, near a railway line, collapsed until deep excavation has been carried out.

The owners of three neighbouring properties have been told they will have to be demolished, but there are concerns more will have to be flattened.

Heather Lewis
It's very sad, it's the house we brought our babies home to and we didn't expect to leave it quite like this
Heather Lewis

Resident Heather Lewis, who is among 11 families staying at a hotel over Easter, has been told her house will have to be bulldozed.

"Clearly it's not our family home anymore and it's coming down on Tuesday," she said.

"It's very sad, it's the house we brought our babies home to and we didn't expect to leave it quite like this."

Mr and Mrs Shepherd were woken in the early hours of Tuesday by the sound of cracks appearing in the walls of their semi-detached house.

Crack in the road
More cracks are appearing in the road

They got dressed and tried to get out but their front door was stuck. They woke their neighbours who also had difficulty getting out of their property.

Within hours the front of the Shepherds' home had fallen away.

Twenty properties were evacuated and residents do not know when, or if, they will be able to return to their homes.

The rest of the estate is without gas but sewage and water pipes are still holding.

Until the neighbouring properties have been flattened and deep excavation can be carried out, engineers still do not know why the house collapsed.

The house was near the rail track and a 40-metre exclusion zone was set up shortly after the collapse - causing disruption to Eurostar and domestic rail services.


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