Venlo resident narrowly escapes collapsing house

An elderly woman's home collapsed on Bergstraat in Venlo, 24 Jan 2018
An elderly woman's home collapsed on Bergstraat in Venlo, 24 Jan 2018Photo: Peter van de Ven / Twitter

A home collapsed in the Venlo city center on Wednesday afternoon. The resident, an elderly woman, managed to get out just in time. She has an angel on her shoulder, according to Venlo Mayor Antoin Scholten. "The woman still wanted to go into the house to take her coat, fortunately she did not do it", he said according to broadcaster NOS.

New homes are being built next to the collapsed house on Bergstraat. During ground work in the construction, a crack suddenly appeared in the home. The contractor immediately warned the resident, and she managed to get out in time. No one was injured. 

"I was in the living room on the phone and I heard a huge noise", a neighbor said to 1Limburg. "I looked outside and then the whole house came down."

Fifteen residents of eight surrounding homes were evacuated after the collapse. They had to spend the night elsewhere, either due to concerns about their home's structural integrity or because there is debris in front of their home. Hotel rooms were arranged for those who could not stay with family or friends.

The police closed down the area and posted guards overnight. 

Construction on the new homes started about a month ago. The construction is in the hands of housing association Woonwenz. "The foundation had just been laid", a spokesperson said to Construction workers were working on the site when the house collapsed, but they too escaped without injury. Woonwenz launched an investigation. "We would like to now from the contractor what exactly happened."

Earlier this month the housing association tweeted about the project: