Steel lump falls off new London skyscraper

6th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

An area around one of London's tallest buildings was cordoned off on Thursday after a hand-sized part of a steel bolt from the skyscraper's frame broke off and plunged to the ground.

No one was hurt and the owners of the 224-metre-high Leadenhall Building in the City of London, said there is no risk to its structural integrity.

But tests are being carried out on an estimated 3,000 steel bolts on the "megaframe" of the building, which is known as the "Cheesegrater" because of its shape.

Two of the bolts -- each about the size of a human arm -- broke, one on the 19th floor and another on the fifth floor, according to a spokeswoman for British Land.

Part of the lower bolt -- a piece of metal about the size of a hand -- fell onto the ground, into a construction area that is not currently open to the public.

Many offices are occupied in the building, although the structure has not been completed.

"Visual checks have been carried on all the bolts and we are carrying out other tests" similar to ultrasound tests to determine the soundness of the structure, the spokeswoman told AFP.

British Land revealed the problem in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, which insisted: "There is no risk to the structural integrity of the building.

"It is not the first time London's new skyscrapers have hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Last year, several drivers parked near a tower at 20 Fenchurch Street complained that the sun rays reflected from the building had melted parts of their cars.

The building has been nicknamed the Walkie Talkie but was briefly dubbed the "Walkie Scorchie" or "Death Ray Skyscraper" in the ensuing flurry of tabloid reports.

© 2014 AFP

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