A 40ft stack of scaffolding crashed into a Burton town centre street during rush hour in April 1996.
The scaffolding, opposite the former Bargates site, in High Street, narrowly missed vehicles and pedestrians on their way to work.
A building work outside was nearly injured as the scaffolding toppled across three lanes of the street.
Staffordshire Police confirmed that nobody was injured in the incident and no vehicles were damaged.
The accident also narrowly missed a school bus on its way to collect pupils.
Health and Safety Executive officers were quickly on scene to investigate the collapse as were East Staffordshire Borough Council inspectors.
The pile of poles and planks caused delays with two traffic wardens and a police officer directing.
The scaffolding was erected outside the former hi-fi and television shop Rees Electrical where conversion work was taking place.