Probe begins into Abraham Darby Academy canopy collapse

Steve Hawke, academy principal, said the incident was a 'shock and a setback'

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An inquiry has begun after a steel canopy collapsed at the building site of a secondary school in Shropshire.

The canopy at the front of the £35m Abraham Darby Academy in Telford fell down at about 16:30 BST on Thursday.

Five workers were hurt, including one in his 40s who was airlifted to hospital with spinal injuries.

Officials said they hoped the neighbouring school - which the new building will replace - opens at the start of term as normal.

The building under construction is expected to open at the end of the year.

Full co-operation

Construction company Kier said the five injured workers had been kept in hospital overnight.

The statement added the police were still at the scene and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) team had arrived the firm would be co-operating fully as part of an investigation.

Steve Hawke, the academy principal, promised to keep parents of pupils informed of arrangements for the new term through the school's website.

'Like an earthquake'

Pilot and photographer Paul Smith was flying over the school and had taken a few pictures when his wife phoned: "She said something terrible had happened. The Abraham Darby School has collapsed.

"I looked at the photograph and then took a close-up and there I could see that the roof had collapsed."

Abraham Darby Academy, Telford The new school was due to open at the end of this year

Joanna Fox was a passenger in a car which was driving up the road towards the school: "I actually heard something. A loud noise. I looked across and saw it moving."

Driver Louise Jenks was shocked: "I was driving and the next minute I heard what was like an earthquake. I thought the whole building was going to come down."

Abby Masefield, 12, a pupil at the school, was involved in a ceremony to bury a memory box at the entrance to the new building.

"Just to think we walked through the bottom floor of the school and in a matter of a month it's collapsed, which is really scary and worrying," she said.

Michael Steven, from the bus company Arriva, said services which run on Ironbridge Road, just outside the school site, have been redirected through Glendinning Way and Hermitage Way.

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