Wall collapses at Chatham Theatre Royal site

Chatham wall collapse
Image caption The rear wall of the Bank Chambers building collapsed on Thursday night

Part of a building attached to a former theatre has collapsed and two sinkholes have appeared on fields following heavy rain and strong winds in Kent.

Medway Council said the rear wall of the Bank Chambers building, attached to the old Theatre Royal, collapsed just after 23:00 GMT on Thursday.

The structure fell into Hawkins Way car park, leaving three stories of the building in Chatham exposed.

Geologists are being consulted over a sinkhole at a school in Gillingham.

Pupils at the Rainham Mark Grammar School have been told to stay away from the hole, near the sports hall of the school in Pump Lane, Gillingham.

The school said it had contacted the council, civil engineers and the British Geological Society for advice.

Another hole has also appeared at Gillingham Anchorians Rugby Club grounds in Darland Avenue, Gillingham, where the pitches are waterlogged.

The Bank Chambers building was being converted into shops and apartments.

Image caption The sinkhole at Rainham Mark Grammar School has been cordoned off

The area is being cordoned off and some shops in Chatham High Street began closing after lunch because of fears of further collapse.

The council said the road would be closed for several days as a safety precaution.

The authority said that with further high winds expected overnight, officers would continue to monitor the area from the highway.

The owner of the building is arranging scaffolding and repair work, it said.

The M2 in Kent was closed on Tuesday when a 15ft (4m) hole appeared in the central reservation.

Two London-bound lanes and one coastbound lane were reopened on Thursday, with traffic using the hard shoulder to pass the scene.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites