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Worker dies on Crossrail construction site in Holborn

Emergency services attended reports of a man suffering head injuries in a tunnel (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) Emergency services attended reports of a man suffering head injuries in a tunnel (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Friday, March 7, 2014
9:06 AM

A 43-year-old Crossrail construction worker died this morning after concrete fell on him from the ceiling of the tunnel he was working on.

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Scotland Yard said they were called shortly after 5.30am this morning to reports of a man suffering head injuries.

He was pronounced dead at the scene near Fisher Street, a spokesman said.

A Crossrail spokesperson said the worker had been spraying concrete into excavated ground in a new crossover tunnel when a piece of concrete fell on him from the ceiling.

“Sadly, at approximately 5am this morning a contractor working at our site in Fisher Street, London was fatally injured,” said a spokesperson.

“Our first and foremost thoughts are with the family and friends affected by this. The family has been informed.

“When the incident occurred, work was taking place to build a new crossover tunnel between two train tunnels that have already been constructed by Crossrail’s boring machines.

“The worker was spraying concrete onto the excavated ground when a piece of concrete from the ceiling of the tunnel fell and hit him.”

Crossrail has since suspended all work at the Fisher Street site as well as associated works across the project - and a full investigation into the incident is currently being undertaken.

Police and the Health and Safety Executive are still on site, Crossrail said.

Ambulance crew and more than 50 firefighters attended the incident this morning, with the London Fire Brigade reporting the man had been injured 10 metres down a tunnel.

An LFB statement said: “The London Fire Brigade was called this morning to reports of a man suffering injuries in a tunnel in Fisher Street, Holborn, WC1. The tunnel is part of the Crossrail project.”

It added that six fire rescue units, three fire engines and more than 50 firefighters and officers were at the scene, in addition to fire rescue units containing specialist rescue equipment including rope rescue gear.

Unite regional officer Guy Langston said his union offered its “deepest condolences” to the family of the worker killed, but added it was “particularly concerned about health and safety at the site because this is not the first serious incident.

“In December 2012, a worker sustained horrific burns when he cut through a cable.”

He said: “We now expect BFK to meet with Unite as a matter of urgency. The contractor must explain how it intends to do everything in its power to ensure that a tragic incident like this does not happen again.”

Crossrail, which will connect Maidenhead in Berkshire across central London to Shenfield in Essex when it launches in 2018, recently passed the halfway point of its construction.

The £15billion project plans to run up to 24 trains an hour, adding 10 per cent capacity to London’s rail network.

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