GLASGOW Hydro bosses say it could take over a week to complete a full assessment of the damage caused by Saturday’s fire at the new concert hall.
In a statement on the venue’s Facebook page, Hydro bosses said that they are “fairly sure” that welding work on site was the cause of the fire.
The statement reads: “We have a full team of workers back on site today - repairs to some of the damaged areas are under way and a clean-up operation has commenced.
“We are now also fairly sure that welding work on the roof was the main cause of the fire. An appraisal of the fire and water damage by the main contractor Lend Lease has started today and we expect it will take at least a week to complete.
“We are continuing to keep in touch with artist management and representatives and of course, our fans and followers.”
Hydro chiefs apologised for the ‘uncertainty’ but stressed the importance of resolving all issues that came about as a result of the fire, adding: “We want to be absolutely sure that the opening is safe, secure and delivers the world class venue which we all want”.
Firefighters were last night investigating the cause of the blaze, at the site on the banks of the River Clyde. Five appliances and 40 firefighters from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service were involved after the alarm was raised shortly after 3pm on Saturday and huge plumes of smoke and flames could be seen coming from the roof.
Burning debris could be seen falling from the top of the building.
The 12,000-seat arena is scheduled to open in September, with a performance by Rod Stewart.
John Sharkey, chief executive at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), said: “We were notified by our contractors at about 3.15pm that a small fire had broken out on the upper-level perimeter.
“The fire service were called and the fire began to spread its way around the edge of the roof. The fire service moved to put it out in a prompt and professional manner for which we are very grateful.
“Now it’s just a case of waiting for the crews to clear the building and for our contractors, Lend Lease, to assess fire and water damage and give us an idea as to the kind of impact it will have on the programme.”
Venue bosses denied reports that construction problems were to blame.
The Hydro will be part of the SECC complex. It is being constructed by the firm Lend Lease, which previously worked on the SECC and Clyde Auditorium.
The venue had been due to host opera singer Andrea Bocelli on 15 September for its opening act, but this was pushed back to November.
Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story was scheduled to take place on 27-29 September but was moved to the SECC.
Other acts lined up include Jessie J and Simple Minds.