In the wake of a recent inferno that engulfed an abandoned Surry Hills building, the remnants of the structure on Randle Street are now subject to a meticulous demolition process. Utilising a 60-tonne long-reach excavator, the task of safely dismantling the residual brick walls is progressing steadily and cautiously.
The fire-ravaged shell of the building on Randle Street in Surry Hills is currently under the watchful supervision of a formidable 23-metre-long excavator. This piece of machinery, specifically designed to handle complex demolition tasks, forms the centrepiece of the operation led by the New South Wales (NSW) Fire and Rescue team.
The disassembly of the building is being executed in a swift yet safe manner. Superintendent Adam Dewberry of Fire and Rescue NSW, in his recent interview with Ben Fordham on 2GB, stated the dual objectives of the mission. “Our prime concern is the safety of all involved, but we’re also committed to minimising any potential damage to surrounding structures and utilities,” he explained.
Given the nature of the machinery involved, the project has to be managed with the utmost care. The area is rife with gas mains, electricity lines, and water pipes, all of which need to be navigated without causing further complications. “We’re confident in our ability to avoid causing any more issues,” Superintendent Dewberry reassured.
Earlier this week, concerns were raised regarding the possible presence of two homeless individuals who were known to frequent the area. The current status of these individuals is still being looked into by NSW Police. Superintendent Dewberry elaborated on the situation, noting the uncertainty that surrounds their whereabouts. He confirmed that the police are conducting numerous investigations to gain more clarity.
The demolition process is expected to continue throughout the day, with parts of the building being pulled down. It’s crucial to remember, however, that the site is still considered an active crime scene. Investigations from Fire and Rescue NSW are ongoing, with the team utilising cutting-edge technology such as drones to gain aerial perspectives of the site. These efforts are being carried out in collaboration with the police, providing their expertise and assets to aid in the investigation.
The Financial Crimes Squad Arson Unit of NSW Police is actively investigating the cause of the fire, including questioning four teenage boys in relation to the incident. As the investigation is ongoing, the police are encouraging anyone with pertinent information to come forward.
As the operation continues, road closures are expected. Heavy-duty trucks are actively transporting debris from the site, leading to intermittent closures of Elizabeth Street southbound. Chalmers Street, from the Cleveland Street intersection to Central Station, and all of Randle Street remain closed. Elizabeth Street is also closed southbound between Eddy Avenue and Devonshire Street. Additionally, several smaller alleyways near the site have been cordoned off.
The project is a testament to the importance of safe demolition practices and the skilled teams that carry them out. Following established guidelines and stringent safety measures, demolition professionals can ensure the process is executed effectively, with minimal risk to workers, surrounding structures, and the public.