Police investigate collapse of Abu Dhabi-owned London building

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The Mayfair area of London is an affluent part of the English capital and a popular location for embassies, upmarket stores and luxury hotels. (Image for illustrative purposes only and not the actual building).

The Mayfair area of London is an affluent part of the English capital and a popular location for embassies, upmarket stores and luxury hotels. (Image for illustrative purposes only and not the actual building).

London police and health and safety authorities have launched an investigation into the partial collapse of a building, which resulted in the death of a worker and the hospitalisation of a second.

The incident occurred on Monday at 20 Grosvenor Square, the former UK headquarters of the US Navy and which was bought by the Abu Dhabi Investment Corporation in 2013.

Built in the 1930s but vacant since 2007, the building was undergoing a £250m ($418m) refurbishment.

“Metropolitan Police officers from City of Westminster are jointly investigating with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the circumstances of the death of a man following a partial building collapse in Mayfair,” London police said in a statement on Tuesday.

“A 33-year-old man [victim1] who was working on the site was pronounced dead at the scene. A post mortem examination will be arranged in due course. One other person was injured, a 29-year-old man [victim2] who worked at the site. He was taken to a central hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and discharged.

“At this early stage it is believed that both men were working on the second floor of the building when the floor collapsed. Victim2 was working in a digger at the time. This digger is believed to have fallen causing Victim1 to also fall,” the police statement added.

Refurbishment work has been halted while an investigation is ongoing. “We are, of course, working closely with the investigating authorities to ensure that a full inquiry is conducted into this tragic incident,” Declan Sherry, chief executive officer of construction company McGee, said in a statement.

Grosvenor Square in Mayfair is an affluent part of the English capital and a popular location for embassies, upmarket stores and luxury hotels.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Corporation has not commented on the incident.

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