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Yobs lay siege to demolition job

NEWSControl Demolition finally completes job after vandals cause havoc at Hull site

A MOB of young vandals has turned a Controlled Demolition site in Hull into a war zone.

The 100-strong gang of youths - some as young as six - have wreaked havoc at the demolition specialists job at the Orchard Park estate in the city.

Group health and safety manager Martin Smith said: 'This has been the worst ever site for us - and we have worked in Beirut and Sarajevo.'

Workers at Controlled have had to fight a daily battle to keep the local yobs out of the 22-storey Vernon House block.

The company took possession of the building in February and secured the site with a steel wire fence.

Two full-time security guards were also installed but they were soon overrun by the youngsters, who broke in using bolt croppers.

Mr Smith said: 'Our guys couldn't cope because of the sheer numbers breaking in and how well organised they were.They were getting in from all angles.'

Once inside the mob ran amok, lighting fires and hurling sofas and baths out of upper floor windows.

Police and fire crews were called on an almost daily basis but were often forced to retreat under a hail of missiles from the rampaging gang.

Mr Smith said: 'We visited the local schools to point out the damage that was being done and the dangers these kids were putting themselves in.

'While I was there a teacher pointed out one lad who had been boasting he could climb up to the eighth floor using the outside balconies.'

Controlled finally stopped the carnage by installing a 2.5 m-high 'ring of steel' fence around the site.

Mr Smith said: 'It was the sort of thing you'd install permanently but it did the trick.We also knocked off all the balconies and secured the windows with steel sheets.'

Controlled finally razed the building to the ground last Sunday with 30 kg of explosives.

Mr Smith said: 'I suppose you could say we are glad to see the back of the place but we have learned a lot.There's another block coming up for demolition in the area and if we get that then hopefully we'll be better prepared.'