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Five Men Killed In Recycling Site Accident

Sky News logo Sky News 7/07/2016

The scene at Nechells in Birmingham © Sky News The scene at Nechells in Birmingham Five men have died after an industrial accident at a recycling site in Birmingham.

West Midlands Police were called to the Hawkeswood Metal plant in Nechells at 8.45am on Thursday morning, following reports that a "large concrete structure containing metal" had collapsed.

Murray MacGregor, a spokesman for the ambulance service, said the five men who died had been "crushed" by the wall and nothing could be done to save them.

A sixth man, who managed to get out from under the rubble, has been taken to hospital with serious leg injuries.

The West Midlands Fire Service have described the scene of the accident as "extremely challenging" as an unstable structure involving a "significant tonnage of concrete and metal" needs to be moved.

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

West Midlands Police said a wall had collapsed at the recycling site in Nechells © Sky News West Midlands Police said a wall had collapsed at the recycling site in Nechells "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."

Mr Taylor added that the operation to recover their bodies is expected to take "several hours".

Police have launched an investigation into the industrial accident with the help of the Health and Safety Executive.

Detective Superintendent Mark Payne said "several teams" of specialist officers were also supporting the families of those who died.

He added: "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."

Hawkeswood Metal began trading more than 40 years ago.

According to the company's website, it processes more than 500,000 tonnes of scrap metal a year.

In July 2012, the company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay more than £10,000 in costs at Birmingham Crown Court after a worker trapped and broke his arm in an unguarded conveyor belt, documents from the HSE show.

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