Corpse dogs search burned-out Randle Street building as demolition plans are finalized

Work is underway to demolish an abandoned hat factory after a massive inferno in Sydney city center destroyed the building and displaced more than 100 people.

Search teams will survey the area while the debris is cleared. However, police cannot say for sure that no one is in the burned-out building yet.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: There is grave concern that the gutted Randle Street building could collapse.

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An exclusion zone remains in place at the Surry Hills building as the unstable walls pose a threat to public safety as excavators clear debris at street level following Thursday’s devastating fire.

Heavy demolition machines were due to arrive later Monday before dismantling the remains of the seven-story Grade II listed brick building on Tuesday.

Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Adam Dewberry says demolition will begin as soon as light permits.

“The whole thing is about getting in as early as possible,” he told AAP.

Police said last week only 13 of the 15 people who slept in the building the night before the inferno were held accountable.

“Our detectives are working flat out to locate these people,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Paul Dunstan said on Friday.

“We remain concerned until we locate these two individuals.”

Police said on Monday it was still unclear if anyone else was in the building.

“Although police have not received any reports of missing persons, investigators cannot say with certainty that no one is inside,” NSW Police said.

Specialized crime scene officers will use cadaver dogs and forensic imaging when portions of the debris are removed and the building is found safe for entry.

The Grade I listed former hat factory in Sydney’s CBD will soon be demolished. Credit: AAP

Safety remains a priority amid fears that more parts of the structure will collapse over the weekend, he said.

One of the factory’s walls rained bricks onto Randle Street as Thursday night’s inferno raged, one of the largest in central Sydney in about a decade.

Firefighters then warned that another wall was moving slightly inward on Friday night, highlighting the importance of the exclusion zone for neighboring apartments.

At least 100 people living in the area have been registered as displaced since the fire lit up skies, closing roads and diverting public transport.

“Due to the demolition work, intermittent southbound lane closures on Elizabeth St are also expected in the coming days,” reports NSW Police.

Once the site is made safe, contractors and engineers will determine if the remaining structure is salvageable.

Police are asking anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area prior to the fire to get in touch.

Youths who were seen fleeing the building shortly after the fire broke out turned themselves in on Thursday. Officials are hoping that three or four other youths will turn themselves in to the police.

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James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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