International Officer Mahaboob Basha was injured when a piece of cladding fell from the rear part of the Faraday building on the morning of Friday 18th January.
Mr Basha was on his way to attend the morning prayer at the university mosque positioned just behind the library. After leaving his halls of residence at approximately 6.30am he had walked through Fulton House and down the steps between the library and Faraday; which Mr Basha has said he preferred because he could walk through safely.
He states that at around 6.37am the massive panel fell from the building as he was walking past, hitting him in the neck and shoulder area while a second panel threatened to fall on his head.
“It was freezing cold and it had started to snow,” he said. “I was so shocked and panicked that I had no idea what to do. Without realising I fell and rolled away from the spot to a safe area and looked at the panel. It was huge and I thought ‘I’m dead’ and that this was my last breath. I called Fulton House but didn’t know what to say; they were telling me to calm down and tell them what happened but I couldn’t because I was shivering so much. The only thing I remember is that I told them the building was falling down and that I was trapped.”
Once help arrived from Fulton House the emergency services were called and the Leadbitter company began to remove the second panel that was threatening to collapse. Mr Basha was informed that each panel weighs an estimated 50-70kg and that if it had hit him full-on it was almost certain he would have been killed. He was advised to go for several x-rays to ascertain whether he may have broken ribs.
“I filled the incident report and accident report but so far I have no idea whether the university has taken any measure to deal with the incident,” he said. “However I am aware that Tom Upton [Students’ Union President] has informed senior management at the university.
“At the moment my shoulder is in pain and my hip has been killing me for the last two days. I have two blisters in one leg and also twisted my left leg in the accident.”
The Faraday building was given a renovation worth 2.75m that began in January and included a new entrance hall, multi-coloured glass cladding, an extended second floor, and improved access. A university spokesperson claimed the new look would add ‘vibrancy’ and ‘reflect the standards that Swansea holds and [create] a professional atmosphere that fits in with the degrees that are taught in that building.’
The area of Faraday where the first two panels fell
A university spokesperson released a statement yesterday that revealed they were not aware until very recently that anyone had been hurt when the piece of cladding fell from the building.
“A piece of cladding came off the rear of the Faraday building early (c. 6.45am) on the morning of Friday 18th January. The area was cordoned off immediately and the fire brigade were called. Leadbitter later removed the cladding. The cause of the incident is being investigated but there had been snow and high winds. We were not aware that an individual had been involved in the incident but having now been made aware of this our safety team will be carrying out an investigation.”
By Roisin O’Connor