Five men were crushed to death and one was injured when a large concrete wall collapsed without warning today at a recycling site in Birmingham, England.
Police were called to the Hawkeswood Metal recycling plant at 8.45am today after a large concrete wall containing metal collapsed.
This tragedy underlines that in dangerous industries it is imperative that the Health and Safety Executive plays an active and high profile role in ensuring safety is maintained– Detective Superintendent Mark Payne
Paramedics tried to free the men, including one who had suffered a heart attack, however West Midlands Police pronounced all five victims dead at the scene.
A sixth man was taken to hospital with serious leg injuries.
The victims have yet to be identified.
The Guardian newspaper reported that the wall was eight metres in height. According to the BBC, the men are thought to have been Spanish citizens of Gambian origin.
Police said an investigation into what happened was under way and the HSE had been notified.
Detective Superintendent Mark Payne, from Force CID, said: "Sadly five people have lost their lives and we have several teams of specialist officers supporting their families at this time. "This has been a very traumatic incident for those who were at the site this morning and we will continue to work alongside the HSE and the other emergency services at the scene."
The Hawkeswood Metal recycling plant was in the news five months ago after a major fire broke out.
Speaking about the collapse today, Brian Rye, acting general secretary of construction union UCATT, said the incident highlights the need for the UK’s Health and Safety Executive to maintain its active role in ensuring safety standards, reports GCR’s sister title, Construction Manager.
Rye, said: "Information on how and why this accident occurred is currently very limited. However this tragedy underlines that in dangerous industries it is imperative that the Health and Safety Executive plays an active and high profile role in ensuring safety is maintained."
Image: Police and rescue workers at the scene today in the Aston Church Road, Nechells, Birmingham (West Midlands police)