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Kelowna apartment building evacuated because nearby UBC Okanagan construction site is unstable

B.C. Housing warns that collapse of the excavation wall could cause serious damage to the adjacent building

Over 80 residents of a low-income apartment building in Kelowna have been advised to leave due to a significant risk to their lives and safety.

According to B.C. Housing, 84 people living in Hadgraft Wilson Place have to move out by Tuesday because of worries about construction at a University of British Columbia-Okanagan location nearby.

Recent geotechnical and structural engineering reports from B.C. Housing indicate that a shoring wall at the construction site is not stable and a slip could result in serious damage to the apartment building.

Kelowna Fire Chief Dwight Seymour stated that the risk level is significant enough to start evacuating to ensure the safety of occupants and first responders.

B.C. Housing reports that new information about the risks of the shoring wall came to light after earlier reports showed that construction at the UBC-Okanagan site caused cracks in the walls and windows of the nearby apartment building.

Pathways Abilities Society, the operator of the building, is providing accommodation for tenants who need to temporarily move to a hotel.

B.C. Housing mentions that this is a very stressful time for everyone involved, especially for the tenants at Hadgraft Wilson Place who recently moved into their new homes, some after waiting for years for an affordable and secure home.

The statement also notes that it is uncertain when tenants will be able to return, and engineers will carry out a thorough evaluation of the building once all tenants have left.

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