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INVESTIGATION INTO DOOR DOUBLE FATALITY ONGOING

Police and HSE continue to explore cause of catastrophic door collapse

It has been reported (7 Feb 2014) by GetSurrey that police are continuing to investigate how a large stage door collapsed during preparations for a performance by the sea shanty band Fisherman’s Friends in February 2013 which lead to the deaths of two men at the Guildford G Live venue.

Tour manager for the band, Paul McMullen aged 44, died at the scene while singer Trevor Grills, 54, died in hospital two days later.  Mr McMullen suffered serious leg injuries and was cut free by fire fighters. Despite being treated by paramedics, he was declared dead at the scene.

Mr Grills received serious head injuries and was taken by ambulance to St George’s Hospital in Tooting. Surgeons operated on him that night but he died on the following Monday.

A joint investigation into the circumstances leading to the deaths at the Guildford Borough Council-owned building is being carried out by Surrey Police and HSE.

Complex joint investigation

A preliminary summary of a mechanical investigation by HSE in relation to the workings of the powered, sectional overhead door has been completed and further consultation is planned with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Chief Superintendent Helen Collins said:

“We appreciate that the last 12 months must have been extremely difficult for the relatives and friends who have lost their loved ones.

I want to reassure those involved and the local community that the intervening time has been spent carrying out a complex joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive.

I hope there will be an update on the enquiry in due course.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends on the anniversary of this tragic incident which led to two men losing their lives.”

The venue owned by Guildford Borough Council was designed by architects Austin-Smith:Lord and built by Willmott Dixon Construction. 

A vertically rising ‘get-in’ door was abandoned for a bifolding system. Officers approved the aluminium door which had a horizontal fold across the middle which pushed out as the corners rose.

Following the incident, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) removed the mechanism for the door as part of the investigation, and the council arranged for removal of the door to the HSL laboratory in Buxton.

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