A woman had to be rescued by firefighters on Sydney’s northern beaches on Tuesday after the gym she was in was destroyed by mistake.
The Booty Parlour in Balgowlah was left with a massive hole in its wall and a sagging roof, after an excavator working on a neighbouring construction site slipped on a pile of rubble and crashed into it.
The woman inside the gym was not injured and no one was in the upstairs massage parlour at the time.
Police said the two-storey building on the corner of Sydney Road and Woodland Street was “massively weakened”.
Engineers have assessed the gym and said it was shifting and cracking, and will need to be pulled down.
Sydney Road will be closed in both directions between Woodland and Condamine Streets for most of Wednesday while the building is demolished, this time intentionally.
The Booty Parlour’s owner Jessica Zukowski said she was told she was not allowed back into her collapsing gym.
“We won’t be able to retrieve anything from inside – it’s all gone,” she said.
Incredibly, Ms Zukowski was not holding any of her scheduled classes on Tuesday afternoon as she was at home celebrating her birthday.
She said the building was crushed about 5.30pm, which would usually be peak workout time.
“I’m so grateful that no one was in there and everyone was OK,” she said.
She said blood, sweat and tears went into opening her business two years ago and she had lost more than $200,000 worth of gym equipment.
“We spent a lot of money setting it up because it’s all quite specialised,” she said.
In a Facebook post, she said it was “a super sad day”.
Acting NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Dave Darcy said bringing down the building safely would be a major challenge.
“We know a closed Sydney Road will cause big problems during the morning peak for motorists and bus commuters but safety must be paramount,” he said.
It is hoped the site will be cleared in time for Wednesday’s afternoon peak hour.