LAST night’s terrible weather caused a staircase to collapse at a block of flats in Old Trafford, leaving many residents without access to their apartments.

Empress Mill, on Empress Street, was converted relatively recently into residential flats and had a temporary, outdoor staircase, which provided the only access to the three storeys of apartments inside.

The top section of the wooden staircase was completely blown off, part of it landing around 20 metres away in the roadway.

Other parts landed on a Nissan Micra and a Vauxhall Corsa, which were parked in the car park, causing significant damage to both vehicles.

No one was injured in the incident.

Paul Hogan, who helps to maintain the mill, said he first received a call about the incident at around 6.15pm and worked throughout the night.

“It took me about an hour to get here when it normally takes 15 minutes because the traffic was so bad,” said Paul.

“People are using a scaffolding ladder at the moment and we’re looking to get a new temporary staircase put in tonight.

“All the residents are being moved out today and being put in temporary accommodation and hotels.”

Police and firefighters were at the scene for a number of hours, helping to make the area safe.

One police officer told Messenger that he left the site at around 10.40pm and it was very fortunate that no one was injured.