Tower residents decanted over asbestos fears

Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause lung damage
Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause lung damage

More than 100 residents of Anderson Tower in Motherwell have been decanted as a precautionary measure over asbestos fears.

Mains cabling replacement work being carried out by Scottish Power within the building is believed to have disturbed asbestos.

North Lanarkshire Council has closed the block, which contains 67 flats, to allow further investigation.

A council spokesman for said: “Initial testing has shown a number of positive results within the building.

“As a precautionary measure, movement to and from the tower was restricted yesterday (Thursday).

“However, in light of the results, we have decided to decant our tenants.

While we do not believe there is any immediate risk to health, the wellbeing of our tenants is our priority.”

Housing and social work staff were on hand to advise, assist and reassure tenants, with a temporary reception centre set up.

The council ensured all tenants were accommodated overnight; some in hotels, a number in temporary council accommodation while others made arrangements to stay with friends or relatives.

The spokesman added: The clean-up operation, led by specialist asbestos contractors, will be followed by further air quality testing.

“Tenants will be allowed to return when our experts are satisfied with the test results.

“This is the first time North Lanarkshire Council has decanted an entire tower block. We have robust procedures in place and are pleased the operation went smoothly.

“Social work staff were on hand to assist vulnerable tenants and those with mobility difficulties.

“We are proud of all our staff who turned out to help at short notice and assisted tenants with sympathy and professionalism.”