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Tower Bridge lift plunge inquiry continues 21 months after incident

London SE1 website team

Nearly two years after 11 people were injured when the lift in the north tower of Tower Bridge fell to the ground an investigation into what went wrong is still under way.

Tower Bridge

On 11 May 2009 the north tower lift plunged to the ground injuring 11 passengers including tourists and staff.

The lift remained closed to the public for nearly a year after the incident.

The lift, which can carry 40 passengers, takes visitors from the ticket office at road level to the high level walkways which are 140 feet above the river.

A report published this week for members of the City of London Corporation's City Lands & Bridge House Estates Committee confirms that the Health & Safety Executive's investigation into the lift failure is still ongoing.

"In recent communications, the HSE has indicated that this is a complex investigation involving up to four duty holders (including the City of London)," says the report from the Town Clerk.

"Substantial focus in the investigation appears to be directed towards the design of the counterweight and roping systems of the lift. "

The document sets out the action taken by the City of London Corporation in the wake of the incident, including inspections of other passenger-carrying lifts in buildings owned by the authority, such as those at the Barbican Centre.

The report concludes: "The malfunction at Tower Bridge was attributed to a failure of the counterweight mechanism. Why this happened is the focus of the ongoing HSE investigation which is still in progress.

"The City of London secured external expertise to design and carry out this refurbishment project. As already pointed out, the HSE investigation is wide ranging and other aspects may arise."

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