UPDATED: Retaining wall collapse at bus stop on Oak Bay Avenue may be due to wet weather

UPDATED: Retaining wall collapse at bus stop on Oak Bay Avenue may be due to wet weather

Evacuated residents allowed to return home, but roadway will remain closed off for a couple days while site is investigated

UPDATE: Evacuated residents allowed to return home and debris is being cleared.

Occupants of a building were evacuated this morning after a retaining wall collapsed at the corner of Oak Bay Avenue and Fort Street.

A fence, trees and what looked like electric wires were protruding from the dirt in front of the building, which was spread across the south side of Oak Bay Avenue.

Fraser Work, the City’s director of engineering, said its too early to say exactly how long the road and sidewalk will be out of service. City officials and engineers continue to investigate the site and determine whether there is risk of any further part of the wall, or the structure above it, could collapse. The walls are old and could have been damaged by rainfall, and the drainage of the wall will be assessed.

“We don’t want to take any material away from the bottom of that wall, because in some cases they may actually be holding up and retaining some of that upland site,” he said. “What we’re looking at is potentially a runoff site. It’s obviously raining very heavily through the night, and that seems a factor that has to be considered.”

As the retaining wall collapse is in a high-traffic area, there was concern that there could be someone under the rubble. VicPD sent a K9 unit into investigate, and no casualties were discovered.

Ricky de Souza called the police to report the incident after his vehicle was struck by material as he drove east on Oak Bay Avenue just after 8 a.m.

“I heard kind of a boom and a loud noise,” he said. “Whether it was an explosion or a boom or an accident, who knows. I couldn’t see. It was all of a sudden just dirt and rocks, and something striking my car.”

DeSouza pulled over to safety, got out and directed traffic away from the pile of rubble before police arrived a short time later, he said.

“People walk right in front of there. [My] first concern is someone may have been under that rubble.”

The buildings in the area have been evacuated and emergency services are waiting on engineers to figure out next step.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

UPDATED: Retaining wall collapse at bus stop on Oak Bay Avenue may be due to wet weather

Just Posted

A walk for autism awareness. (Black Press Media file photo)
COLUMN: Autism acceptance, not autism awareness

Elizabeth Sparling is the mother of a 24-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Claremont Secondary’s year-long drama class will perform TRAP, a thrilling play by Stephen Gregg, virtually from April 14-17 at 7 p.m. (Image courtesy Colin Plant)
Claremont’s drama students to ‘TRAP’ audience’s attention with thrilling virtual performances

Grade 9-12 drama class will perform via livestream from April 14-17

Eli, left, Brent, Lindsay and Ava Wilson. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Wilson)
West Shore families share experience in raising a child with autism

Two families reveal some parallels, but circumstances are different for everyone

Kit Thornton, chief aquarist at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, plays with Wanda, the female Giant Pacific octopus currently residing at the centre. The centre will release Wanda back into the wild next month. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
An octopus named Wanda will soon say goodbye to Sidney

Wanda’s personality is ‘complete opposite’ of previous octopus named after Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

Most Read