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    FOUR WORKMEN DIE IN STEEL REBAR COLLAPSE

    Tragic incident on building project triggers major Police and HSE investigation

    Four workmen have died after they were trapped and asphyxiated by steel reinforcement which collapsed within an deep excavation on a factory site in Great Yarmouth.

    Air and land ambulances, fire crews and the police attended the site in North River Road at around 2.20pm on Friday 21st January. Police have confirmed that the four men were pronounced dead at the scene.

    All four men are believed to be from the Bury St Edmunds area, with at least two of them thought to be aged in their 20’s. A local crane firm was called to site in order to lift the structure so the bodies of the workmen could be reached.

    The work was being undertaken at premises owned by engineering company Claxton Engineering Services Ltd who provide engineering services to the offshore drilling industry.

    Planning permission for the extension was only granted in late December 2010 on the £250,000 contract which involves construction of two steel test chambers with a brick construction compressor house/controllers room.

    An investigation has been launched by the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team (MIT) working with the HSE.

    MIT Det Chief Inspector Neil Luckett said:

    “This is a tragic event and we will be working closely with the HSE to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident. This may be a lengthy process. Our thoughts our with the families of the men who died today.”

    An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said:

    “We were called to a serious incident in Great Yarmouth this afternoon where a steel structure which was being built 4m below ground to reinforce building foundations collapsed while four workers were inside. Land and air ambulance crews have worked closely with the other emergency services.”

    Claxton Engineering Services Limited issued a statement saying the accident happened on part of the site where “construction work on a new facility is being carried out by external contractors”. The firm added:

    “The company is fully cooperating with the investigation. Everybody at Claxton is deeply saddened by what has occurred… and the company’s thoughts and sympathy are with the families of the four men.”

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