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‘Almighty crash’ as roof of Arsenal Tavern in Finsbury Park collapses

PUBLISHED: 08:35 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:49 09 March 2020

The roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane Robertson

The roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane Robertson

Archant

Neighbours heard an “almighty crash” as the roof of a popular football pub in Finsbury Park collapsed yesterday afternoon.

The roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane RobertsonThe roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane Robertson

Neighbours heard an 'almighty crash' as the roof of a popular football pub in Finsbury Park collapsed yesterday afternoon.

The roof of the recently refurbished Arsenal Tavern, at the junction of Blackstock Road and Mountgrove Road, fell in at about 5.15pm - but police say there were 'no serious injuries'.

Mountgrove Road remains closed to traffic this morning, as workers atop hastily erected scaffolding seek to secure the structure.

Jane Robertson, 56, who lives above the adjacent Sunlight Kebab shop, told the Gazette: 'I was sitting in my living room, it was about quarter past five and there was this almighty crash. The roof has crashed right through the building and you can see the debris on the ground floor. There were some people in there but they were obviously in another part of the ground floor because there didn't appear to be anybody hurt. And then there was a bit of confusion, people were trying to stop the traffic going past, but the main concern was the building would fall down. If it had happened the day before that would have been when the match [Arsenal v West Ham] was on...'

The roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane RobertsonThe roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane Robertson

She added: 'There were people trying to check whether people were inside, they were bringing out blackboards trying to put those in the road. It was a bit chaotic.'

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Jane called 999 and said police and the London Fire Brigade were on the scene within minutes.

'The firemen were there all evening,' she added. 'They did call us and said: 'Pack a bag, you never know you might have to be evacuated.'

The roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane RobertsonThe roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane Robertson

But they were able to stay put in the end.

Jane added: 'Initially, because of the nature of the road, I thought it was a car crash. There was a lot of dust but it wasn't an explosion sound, it was a thud sound as it crashed through.'

EI Publican Partnership (Enterprise Inns), which owns the pub, closed it over the summer and refurbished it. It reopened under new management around Christmas.

In November EI said it also wanted to refurbish the hostel above the pub 'in the near future'. It's not known if these works have happened yet.

The roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane RobertsonThe roof collapsed at the Arsenal Tavern on Sunday, March 8. Picture: Jane Robertson

A spokesperson for EI: 'We are aware of the incident at the Arsenal Tavern and are working closely with the Emergency Services. We'd like to reassure the local community that we aim to reopen the pub as soon as possible.'


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