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Friday, 25 January, 2002, 17:08 GMT
Building work was 'shoddy'
Michael Foster outside Ryan's Bar
Michael Foster visits the spot where his daughter died
Renovation work carried out at an Edinburgh building where falling masonry killed an Australian waitress was "shoddy", a fatal accident inquiry has heard.

The claim came from structural engineering consultant Kenneth Donald, who investigated the building after the accident in June 2000.

Christine Foster, 26, died after suffering head injuries when she was struck by stonework which fell from the roof above Ryan's Bar in the city's west end.

Christine Foster
Christine Foster was working as a waitress
Five other people, including Canadian and Dutch tourists, were also injured in the incident.

Mr Donald told the inquiry at Edinburgh Sheriff Court that he worked for James McColl Associates, the company which investigated the building after the accident.

He said too many slates had been used in the roof renovation work.

"I'm concerned that insufficient friction may have developed between the slates and the bonding material and hence the coping stones," he said.

"There's no sign of any mechanical fixings, whether stainless steel or non-ferrous metal or anything like that which would do to anchor the copings to the wall."

Renovation work

He described the work as being "generally poorer than the standard one would desire, poor to the point of being almost shoddy".

Pressed on this issue, he said: "I would agree and say it was shoddy."

The inquiry also heard evidence from Sean Doyle, an area manager for Caledonian Heritable Ltd - the company which bought the building some years after the renovation work.

He said he had not received any reports of falling masonry before the date of the accident and would have organised an inspection if he had received any.

Question witnesses

Miss Foster, from Kalgoolie, Western Australia, had been working at the bar as part of a working holiday in Scotland.

Her 59-year-old father, Michael, has flown in from his home in the Philippines to question witnesses at the inquiry.

On Friday he visited the bar to see the spot where his daughter died.

The inquiry has been adjourned until Monday.

See also:

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