Bow crane collapse family 'treated disgracefully'

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
One witness described "feeling the ground shake" when the crane collapsed

The family of a woman killed when a crane collapsed on to their house say they have been treated disgracefully.

June Harvey, 85, was found on the first floor of her home after the 65ft (20m) crane crashed down in Compton Close in Bow, east London, in July.

Her niece Jacqueline Atkinson and her son Sam, who lived in the house, said it felt like no-one cared about them.

Tower Hamlets Council said it did not "underestimate the impact" it has had on the family.

Ms Atkinson, 63, and her 28-year-old son have been living in a hotel paid for by the council since the crane collapsed.

The council said a property had been found for them, but it needed to be "updated and redecorated so it is comfortable to move into".

The family said this was not expected to be carried out for at least another two months.

Image source, June Harvey GoFundMe Appeal
Image caption,
June Harvey's body was found when the crane crashed down

Ms Atkinson said she felt "absolutely shattered".

"I can't cope with this. I feel like I can't go on no more, totally lost. Obviously heartbroken about me aunt, it's just never ending," she said.

"The way we've been treated has just been disgraceful. It's unacceptable that we've been pushed to the back of the queue. No-one seems to care about us at all.

"We didn't push the crane and I don't know why we're being treated so unfairly."

A council spokesman said: "Finding a suitable permanent home for Mr Atkinson and his family has been a top priority, but in a borough where the housing waiting list numbers more than 20,000 and available properties are few and far between, that inevitably still takes time."

Image caption,
Sam Atkinson says he feels like "no-one cares" about them

About 60 properties were evacuated when the crane collapsed. A small number have been allowed to return as their homes have been deemed safe.

The council said it expected the crane would be removed by the end of the year and that investigations being carried out by the Health and Safety Executive and the Met Police can only be concluded once the crane has been removed.

It said the operation to remove the crane was "among the most complex of its kind in recent years".

The spokesman added: "We understand that it is on schedule but we have said from the early stages that the advice from the specialist crane removal experts is that it could take up to six months.

"A specialist police family liaison officer has been assigned to Mr Atkinson's family throughout and has kept them informed as the investigation progresses."

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