The fifty residents who were evacuated during the weekend are still not allowed home, said the mayor of Saint-Josse-ten-Node on Monday. This decision was made because the Astro Tower site has still not been secured with a safety zone. Twenty of the fifty evacuees have been able to stay at the homes of friends and family and the others are still in temporary accommodation at hotels in the area.
Last Tuesday, a pedestrian was injured when some broken glass fell from the tower, currently under renovation. More recently, on Saturday, sections of the metal facade, some seven metres long and weighing fifty kilos, also fell off the tower. Fortunately, nobody was injured during this latest incident since the streets along the site had been closed to traffic since Tuesday.
The Mayor explained on Monday that “renovation work has been suspended by police decree until the tower and the area is secure.” The contractor will be installing a net around the tower and a tunnel with lighting for pedestrians. Since these measures are not as yet in place, the evacuated homes still cannot be accessed.
The Astro Tower is owned by the Spanish company Luresa, a subsidiary of Santander banking group. The group has pledged to transform the building into one of Europe’s largest passive buildings.