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Five dead at metal plant

West Midlands Police have confirmed that five men have died at a recycling site in Birmingham.

Officers were called to the Hawkeswood Metal plant in the Nechells area at 8.45am this morning, following reports that a wall had collapsed.

A sixth man has been taken to hospital with serious leg injuries.

The police website says an investigation into what happened is underway, and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been notified and is assisting officers at the scene.

Detective superintendent Mark Payne 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.

“This has been a very traumatic incident for those who were at the site this morning. We will continue to work alongside the HSE and other emergency services at the scene.”

Hawkeswood Metal Recycling, which has traded for around 40 years, operates three sites. In February the company was hit by a large fire which forced local residents to keep indoors and close windows.

The British Metals Recycling Association, of which Hawkeswood is a member, released a statement saying it was aware of the events.

”At this time, we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and their colleagues.

”While efforts are still underway to recover the bodies, and the cause of the incident is not yet clear, it would not be appropriate to comment further.

”However, we stand ready to assist the HSE during its investigation and will continue to support the company concerned.”

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