Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow School of Art's facades moved six inches by fire

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Image caption Facades have been badly damaged by last Friday night's fire

The walls of the Glasgow School of Art have been moved six inches (15 cm) in places as a result of the fire, council leader Susan Aitken has said.

She said the movement of the building's facade had prompted fears for public safety.

She gave further details of the damage as the Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell visited the site.

He said it was "shocking" to see the destruction but said the "UK government stands by ready to help".

The remnants of the art school are now under the control of the city's building control department.

A strict cordon has been imposed limiting movement and travel in the streets and premises adjoining the site in Garnethill.

Collapse danger

Speaking from the site, Ms Aitken said: "It is a dangerous building, there is no question about that.

"The facade has actually moved quite considerably - about six inches.

"There is an imminent danger of collapse."

She reiterated the council was doing everything in its powers to help businesses and residents displaced by the fire.

She urged people to make contact with a council team based at the nearby dental hospital.

Mr Mundell said: "Today I visited the site of the Glasgow School of Art fire.

"It's a scene of devastation, utterly shocking to behold.

"Having seen the splendour of the painstakingly refurbished building just two weeks ago, it is an absolutely heartbreaking sight.

"My sincere thanks go to the fire service personnel who fought so hard to ensure no lives were lost and the damage was not even worse."

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Image caption The damage to the art school is more extensive than that caused by the fire four years ago
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption David Mundell and Susan Aitken visit the fire-damaged Glasgow School of Art

Mr Mundell added: "Today I also met the school director, Prof Inns, and several of his team.

"Their love of this architectural masterpiece is clear, and their resilience and optimism in the face of this terrible tragedy is impressive.

"I share their conviction that the Mack will one day rise again in all its glory.

"It is still early stages in properly assessing the damage, but we all hope the building can be saved, and the UK Government stands ready to help."

Prof Inns said he was "hugely appreciative of the support" shown by the secretary of state.

The restrictions remain as building control officers have warned people to stay away from the site of the art school fire.

They revealed concerns about the end walls of the building, which could fall into the street "without warning".

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