A small balcony on the second floor of a block of flats on the Westindischekade in the Korreweg neighbourhood became detached from the building on Wednesday morning.
Translation by Traci White
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that balcony floor and railing fell onto the balcony of the unit below. Lefier, the housing corporation that owns the building, has informed inhabitants not to use their balconies for the time being as they are inspected and reinforced. There are 312 of the same kind of balcony on the building.
According to RTV Noord, the resident of the unit says that he noticed the balcony had fallen off when he went to let his cat out just before 6 a.m. The man says that he had repeatedly notified Lefier that the balcony appeared to be sagging, but the housing corporation reportedly took no action to fix the issue.
Another resident of the building, Antonia Petersen, told RTV Noord that the flat block was recently renovated with double paned glass and additional insulation, but there are still issues with the complex, including mice and leaks. There were plans to eventually tear down the complex, but the local Socialist Party called for the units to be renovated and remain on the social housing market.
A spokesperson for Lefier says that the company inspected the balconies in 2014 and concluded that there was no cause for concern. Lefier rents out 33,877 properties in the city and provinces of Groningen and Drenthe, namely in the municipalities of Midden-Groningen, Stadskanaal, Borger-Odoorn and Emmen.