Exclusion Zone In Place Around Cracked Tighes Hill Building

Efforts to assess the extent of the damage to a building in Tighes Hill are underway after huge cracks emerged in the facade, sparking fears it may collapse.

The townhouse on Elizabeth Street was empty and had been undergoing renovations when the structural damage was discovered around 8:30 this morning.

Authorities evacuated neighbouring homes and construction workers, none of whom were injured, and established an exclusion zone with Elizabeth Street closed off between Maitland Road and Union Street.

The multi-agency response being led by Fire & Rescue NSW is expected to continue for most of the day and a command centre has been set up at the scene with NSW Police, Newcastle Council and various utilities including Ausgrid also remaining on site.

Gas and electricity supply to the building has been shut off and firefighters specialising in structural collapse are using laser equipment to monitor the unstable front wall.

Elizabeth Street remains closed to the public and it is not yet known when evacuated residents will be able to return to their homes.

More to come…

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