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Five dead and one seriously injured in incident at Birmingham recycling plant after ‘wall collapses’

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Five dead and one seriously injured in incident at Birmingham recycling plant after ‘wall collapses’

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Five people have died and one is seriously injured following an incident at a recycling plant in Birmingham.

Emergency services were called to Hawkeswood Metal shortly after 8:45am, following reports a wall had collapsed.

The men are believed to be Spanish nationals, originally from Gambia.

Five of the men were pronounced dead at the scene. Another man is currently being treated in hospital for serious leg injuries. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

An investigation has been launched into the circumstances of the incident.

Detective superintendent Mark Payne, from Westmidlands Police said: “On arrival, ambulance crews found a wall that had collapsed. Sadly, there was nothing that could be done to save the five men who had been working next to it. We are still in the very early stages of this investigation to determine exactly what happened this morning.

“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 (Health and Safety Executive) and the other emergency services at the scene.”

A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service told Birmingham Mail the sixth man had become trapped by falling concrete, but managed to free himself from the rubble.

“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.”

It is believed the men were working when a 15ft concrete bay wall collapsed on them, causing blocks weighing one-and-a-half tons each to come down as well as scrap metal.

Mr Payne added that the bodies of the deceased had yet to be recovered from the rubble but it was hoped they would be overnight. He 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.”

 

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