A 56-year-old builder was critically ill last night after part of the building he was working on collapsed and fell on top of him.
The front of the two-storey house on Hill Street in Ballymena came down shortly before 9am yesterday, bringing down builders’ scaffolding with it.
The premises was the constituency office of DUP MLA Ian Paisley Jr until around 18 months ago, and had been bought over by a businessman in the town who was carrying out renovations.
According to eye witnesses, the injured man was on the ground floor at the time. He was taken to Antrim Area Hospital, where his condition was described as critical, but stable.
A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Health and Safety Executive said: “We are aware of the incident and are carrying out an investigation.”
A man working in nearby Duke Street described the aftermath of the accident.
“It looks like the front of a house has just dropped down. There is scaffolding lying across the street and there is some lying on top of a work van,” he said.
“I was just coming into my office when a saw an ambulance coming round the corner. There seemed to be a bit of a panic on. It will be very tragic if anyone has been hurt.”
In a statement, the Northern Trust said: “We can confirm a 56-year-old man is receiving treatment at Antrim Area Hospital. He is in a critical but stable condition.”
DUP councillor Deirdre Nelson said: “My thoughts and prayers go out to this injured man’s family.”