Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Prayers after five workers crushed at recycling plant

Thu 07 Jul 2016
By Alex Williams

Prayers have been said after five workers were crushed to death at a metal recycling plant in Birmingham on Thursday.

Police say it appears a 15ft concrete wall and the scrap metal contained within it collapsed on the men who - according to friends and relatives - are all Spanish nationals of Gambian decent.

Speaking about the incident at Hawkeswood Metal Recycling in the Nechells area of Birmingham, a West Midlands Fire Service chaplain told Premier it is important we remember those affected by the deaths.

Sallie Morgan said: "Wives, children, grandchildren; there are so many that are impacted by any tragedy.

Chris Radburn/PA Wire


"We just pray for them that they can come to know in the coming weeks and months a little peace and that they enjoy the remembrance of their loved ones and allow themselves to grieve properly.

"Quite often people expect to just get up and get on with life and that is not always the way to do it, but to allow yourself the space to grief. We, as a community, can just pray for that for them, and for strength and for comfort from each other."

West Midlands Police said a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now underway but it could take weeks to complete.

Detective Superintendent Mark Payne said: "We're simply trying to recover the bodies of the men and do it in a way which will help understand exactly how that wall came to fall down.

"Clearly we are investigating together with the HSE, whether there are any issues of negligence or malpractice that have contributed to that wall falling down."

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "A sixth man was partially trapped by the falling concrete but had managed to get out from the rubble himself.

"He was treated at the scene by ambulance staff and the doctor from the air ambulance for a broken leg before he was taken to Heartlands Hospital for further treatment."

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Gary Taylor added: "This is a devastating incident for everyone involved. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the victims' families and colleagues.

"Once the police have finished their initial examination of the scene, our absolute priority will be to ensure that the bodies of those who have lost their lives are recovered in the most timely and safe way possible, and with the utmost dignity and respect."

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