High winds effect Ashton-Under-Lyne Ikea

Ashton-Under-Lyne
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The Ashton-Under-Lyne Ikea was closed after part of the store’s cladding fell apart in high winds.
Fire crews were called  at 9.20am.janurary 10th
 
Eight metal panels at least 30ft long were left hanging off on fourth floor above the store’s car park.
 
It happened as high winds were sweeping across Greater Manchester, a decision was taken not to open the store at 10am due to safety concerns.
 
Around 10 firefighters from two specialist rescue units - the technical response unit and the major rescue unit - were called to the scene.A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are working with the store and the firm that fitted the cladding is sending people to help, so it’s a joint effort.”
Fire crews spent four hours securing the loose cladding. They have been using ropes and cutting gear to fix the cladding to the building from inside.
 
Station Manager Bob Pownell, who was leading the operation, said: “We had approximately eight sheets of metal cladding – each piece about six to seven metres in width – that were loose due to the strong winds.
 
“It was too windy for crews to get to the affected area externally so they have been drilling holes into the cladding from the inside and securing it to the internal frame of the building.
 
“We have been working with the site’s management and external contractors to make the building safe and hope it will be able to reopen later this afternoon.
 
“There were no reports that anyone was injured.”
 
Motorists faced delays travelling past Ikea. Police said the traffic was being managed by the store.
 
Ikea’s website said the store could not open due to ‘technical difficulties on the premises’. 
 
Simona Buganza, IKEA Manchester Store Manager said: “The safety of our customers and co-workers is always highest priority for IKEA. We can confirm that IKEA Manchester store did not officially open this morning, 10 January, due to loose metal cladding hanging from the building which was a result of strong winds
 
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