Five men dead after accident at Birmingham recycling site

Five men dead after accident at Birmingham recycling site
The scene in Aston Church Road, Nechells
Five men have died after an industrial accident at a recycling site in Birmingham this morning (7 July), West Midlands Police have confirmed.

Officers were called by West Midlands Ambulance Service at 8.45am to Hawkeswood Metal in Aston Church Road, Nechells to reports that a 'large concrete structure containing metal' had collapsed, trapping a number of people.

Emergency services attended but the men could not be saved and they were pronounced dead at the scene. Another man has been taken to hospital with serious leg injuries. Reports have suggested that all five men were employees of the company.

An investigation into what happened is now underway. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been notified and are assisting officers at the scene.

Hawkeswood Metal Recycling Ltd is a scrap metal recycling company based at the site in Birmingham. In February, a fire broke out at the Aston Church Road site that engulfed 700-tonnes of scrap metal, requiring eight fire engines to put out the blaze.

Detective Superintendent Mark Payne, from the West Midlands Police CID, said: “We are still in the very early stages of this investigation to determine exactly what happened this morning.

“Sadly five people have lost their lives and we have several teams of specialist officers supporting their families at this time. 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.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Gary Taylor, of West Midlands Fire Service, said: “This is a devastating incident is for everyone involved. 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.

“The scene is an extremely challenging one, involving significant tonnage of concrete and metal and a structure that is still unstable. We have an assertive recovery plan in place and expect this operation to take several hours.

“The skills and services of West Midlands Fire Service will be available for whatever needs to be done, and we will be working hand in glove with our partners at the scene."