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Two People Rescued By Crane After Huge Blaze Breaks Out In Reading

Two people have been saved from a burning high-rise building in a dramatic rescue using a crane.

The operation was described as a “very close call” by the man who was at the machine’s controls. Glen Edwards was forced into action after a large fire broke out at the construction site in Reading.

Footage on social media showed one of the workers being rescued in a white cage, using the crane operated by Edwards, with a crowd of people on the ground cheering as he was lifted to safety.

Edwards, 65, from Egham in Surrey, said: “I was no more than 20 metres up in the air and I looked out my left-hand window and saw a guy standing on the corner of the building.

“I’d only just seen him and someone said “can you get the cage on?”, so that was it, I got the cage on and got it over to him the best I could. It was quite windy conditions. I would say it was a very close call, if you look at the video at the way the wind was swirling around there.

“I tried to put the cage down between him and the flames, but I was hampered by the wind swirling around there. But I got the cage down and I managed to get him in there.”

The man was then lifted to the ground. Edwards, who had been working at the site before the blaze broke out, played down his heroics, saying: “I don’t want to blow it up too much, I’m not that sort of person.”

Another man was also lifted from the building by crane, firefighters said. Christopher Hutton of the Royal Berkshire fire and rescue service said: “Just after half 11 today, we received reports of a fire on Station Hill in Reading. At its peak, over 50 firefighters were on the scene from fire stations across the county. Crews found the fire in a high-rise building under construction. Firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus used two main jets to extinguish the fire.

“We understand that two people were rescued by a crane and have been placed in the care of South Central ambulance service and fortunately, all other people were accounted for. The fire has now been extinguished and we have scaled back our resources at the incident, but a number of crews will remain at the scene at this time to dampen down.”

A South Central ambulance service spokesperson confirmed two people were taken to the Royal Berkshire hospital, saying neither was a severe case.

This is the second time in a few months that there has been a fire at the construction site after a blaze broke out in July, leading to Thames Valley police declaring a major incident.

That fire was on the 12th and 13th floor of the development, and Royal Berkshire fire and rescue service said it was quickly located and extinguished.

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