This was the scene in Newcastle city centre after the old Odeon cinema collapsed into the street late on Monday night.
The old cinema is being demolished but onlookers told of their shock as the building “crumbled” into the street at around 11pm on Monday.
Scaffolding twisted into a mangled wreck on Pilgrim Street as debris were scattered across the road, missing bystanders by metres.
One eyewitness said she “dreaded to think what could have happened.”
The side of Pilgrim Street next to the building was closed to traffic at the time but the other side was open. Around ten people were waiting at two bus stops at the time.
A bus stop next to the building, which has been under demolition since January, was crushed and a clean up operation was taking place in the early hours of Tuesday.
Collapse of old Odeon cinema on Pilgrim Street, Newcastle
Collapse of old Odeon cinema on Pilgrim Street, Newcastle (Photo: James Moore)
A police cordon was put up in the aftermath and the road is now closed to traffic. It is unclear when it will reopen.
A police officer at the scene told an eyewitness that the collapse was not intended to have happened the way it did.
Eyewitness Esther Beadle was waiting at the bus stop across the road from the old cinema when she saw the entire collapse.
The 28-year-old said there was a “deep rumble” before what was left of the building and scaffolding slowly collapsed into the street.
She said the collapse was preceded by six or seven workmen standing near the building and talking in a “animated” way.
Esther, who was waiting for the number 1 bus home to Heaton after a night out at the theatre at the Northern Stage, said: “The men were stood in the centre of Pilgrim Street and there seemed to be in some sort of disagreement, or at least a heated discussion.
“There was lots of dust flying around and scaffolding poles scattered towards us.
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