Five workers have been crushed to death in Nechells, central Birmingham.
West Midlands Police confirmed they died when a retaining wall holding scrap metal collapsed on them at the Hawkeswood Metal recycling site in the UK’s second-largest city.
“(It’s) Obviously a difficult scene for all concerned, including the factory employees themselves and all emergency responders. Obviously, it was quickly ascertained by the Air Ambulance doctor that nothing could be done to save the five persons involved,” said John Woodhall, the Hazardous Area Response Manager.
Hours after the incident, the structure was not yet stable and the bodies of the deceased had still not been recovered. The Fire Service said the site of the incident was extremely challenging, involving “significant tonnage of concrete.”
Detective Superintendent Mark Payne of the West Midlands Police Force told the press:
“In terms of the men who’ve died, we believe they are foreign nationals. We are unclear at the minute in terms of the relationships between those men, but at the minute we are treating them as five distinct families.”
A sixth person has been taken to hospital with serious, but non-life threatening leg injuries.