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Workmen dived through open windows to avoid being squashed by collapsing scaffolding.

Work on the old Riverside housing development in St John’s Avenue, Braintree, was stopped when the metal structure on the side of buildings fell at about 9.55am on Tuesday.

One worker, who asked not be named, said: “I was on an upper floor and the noise was like thunder.

“I heard shouting and screaming and I was looking down for claret.”

See this week's Times for the full story.