TWO workmen had a lucky escape when a 3.5 tonne van collided with scaffolding they were working on in Battle High Street.
The two men were on the first floor of the structure outside the Saffron Gallery when the drama unfolded on Monday lunchtime.
The van is believed to have clipped the scaffolding as it pulled away, ripping it eight inches from the wall.
Alerted by the frantic shouts of the workmen and fearing the scaffolding was about to collapse, Liz Honey, director of the Saffron Gallery, pulled two passersby into the building.
She said: “At that time we had no idea how bad it was.
“Thankfully the driver stopped without pulling the whole thing down.
“It was one of those things which could have been so much worse.”
No one was injured in the incident.
The workmen involved, who work for Battle-based company G W Harmer & Son, were said to be ‘very shaken’ by the incident.
Police and fire crews were called just after 11.30am and cordoned off the scene after declaring the structure unsafe. Access Scaffolding Hastings were quickly on the scene to take down the unsteady scaffolding before reassembling it.
Traffic in the High Street was reduced to one lane, but the road was fully reopened at 12.10pm.
Experts visited the site on Tuesday morning to assess the damage to the building.
Some oak beams were damaged during the incident and must now be replaced.
Police say no one has been arrested.