Balconies collapse at East Sussex residential block - 'Saw my car crushed under the rubble'

Residents in an East Sussex town have described their shock after two balconies collapsed at a residential block in the middle of Christmas celebrations.

Firefighters were called to Prince of Wales Court in Kingsway, Hove this afternoon (Saturday, December 9) after the first and second floor balconies collapsed onto the ground – crushing a car in the process.

The sound of the two balconies falling ‘sounded like a car crash’ to upstairs resident Jenny Burrow as her neighbours' homes fell apart shortly before 1pm.

Jenny, 39, was kicking off Christmas celebrations with her family, who had travelled down from Leeds when ‘there was this huge rumble’ which shook the walls of her flat.

Jenny said: "It was like a car crash, or scaffolding falling off the building. So I went out onto the balcony to have a look and saw a pile of rubble on the ground. I got off the balcony straight away."

A Silver Nissan Juke parked in the building's car park was crushed by the rubble as pieces of brickwork smashed the rear window.

"Thankfully nobody was hurt, or in the car at the time," Jenny said. "There's a risk our balcony might collapse too."

Firefighters posted notices on the front door of each flat saying their balconies were ‘deemed unsafe’.

Pensioner Usha Patel who owns the damaged Nissan Juke said: "I was here on the phone when there was this really loud noise, so I opened by balcony door to find out what it was and there were two people shouting at me to get inside.

"I went downstairs and saw my car crushed under the rubble. The car next to mine doesn't have a scratch or anything. I don't know what is going to happen to my car, but it is what it is."

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has issued a statement.

A spokesperson said: “Joint Fire Control was called at 12.57pm to Prince of Wales Court in Hove following reports that balconies had fallen into a front garden and onto a car.

"There are no reports of injuries. Crews cordoned off the area before handing the incident over to the managing agents for the property.”