Residents evacuated after vehicle "too big" to fit under Bournemouth archway (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Police searching for vehicle which left building in Upper Norwich Road "severely damaged"
RESIDENTS in flats in Bournemouth town centre have been re-housed after a lorry smashed into their building.
Police are searching for the vehicle, which drove off after it hit the building in Upper Norwich Road, off Poole Hill, at around 6pm on Thursday.
It left serious structural damage, leading to several residents being evacuated.
The archway has clear signage on it stating that the height limit is 2.65 metres.
John Morrison, whose front room is above the damaged part of the building, said: “The council was made aware of this some years ago because they keep coming through and hitting it.
“Every time we hear a bang we think the whole lot is going.
“We asked them to put a barrier at the front so they cannot come up. We've no idea how long we will be out for.
“For the damage that's been done there must be an awful lot of damage on the truck.”
Greg McCann, director of Chines Sales and Lettings, whose office adjoins the archway, said the damage appeared to be structural.
He added: “It's not the first time it's happened. They come round there at a rate of knots. One day something is going to come through my window.
“There is going to be a head-on with someone coming out and someone coming in.
“They must have been travelling to cause that damage. I wouldn't like to be in that flat at the moment.”
Jane Portman, executive director of Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “Our building control officers were called to the scene and worked with the emergency services to secure the area.
“Severe damage was caused to the property and a successful evacuation of two families was carried out who we later re-housed.
“The road will be closed for pedestrian and vehicle access until we are content that the safety of our residents is not at risk. We will be consulting with the construction company and a structural engineer to ensure the site is repaired as quickly as possible.”
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police on 101.
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