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Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 13:16 GMT
Inquiry told of buildings safety fear
Fire engine holding ladder to third floor of building
Christine Foster was hit by fallen masonry
A civil engineer has told a fatal accident inquiry that he has doubts about the safety of some of Scotland's oldest buildings.

George Findlay, who works for Edinburgh City Council, was giving a second day of evidence to the inquiry into the death of Christine Foster.

The 26-year-old waitress was fatally injured by masonry which fell from the third floor of a building as she served in Ryan's Bar pavement café in Edinburgh in June 2000.

Mr Findlay said that mortar used in bedding for the roof level coping stones, some of which slid off, appeared to have been laid with speed and little care during extensive repairs in 1989.

Christine Foster
Christine Foster: Working holiday
Questioned by the dead woman's father, Michael Foster, who is representing himself, Mr Findlay agreed the problem of maintaining Edinburgh's ageing building stock was increasing.

Mr Findlay suggested a national study should be done on the issue of looking after older properties.

Ms Foster, from Kalgoolie in Western Australia, was a civil engineer by profession and lived in a shared flat in Edinburgh.

She was at the beginning of a working holiday when the accident happened.

Five other people, tourists from Canada and the Netherlands, were injured.

The inquiry continues.

See also:

21 Jan 02 | Scotland
Inquiry told of 'crashing' stone
29 Jun 00 | Scotland
Waitress killed by falling masonry
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