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Families reject scrap yard deaths verdict

Families of five men who died when a scrap yard wall collapse have rejected the inquest’s accidental death verdict.

The BBC has reported that the families believe the five men were unlawfully killed when the 3.6m high concrete wall fell on them at Birmingham firm Hawkeswood Metal Recycling in July 2016.

This caused part of a 263-tonne pile of metal briquettes stored against the wall in an adjacent bay to fall on the men once it gave way.

Jurors heard the 3m pile of briquettes was stacked twice as high as was safe and proved too powerful a force for the wall’s resistance.

They found the risk of its collapse was never identified, despite being “foreseeable”, and that this risk going unnoticed had “caused or contributed” to the deaths.

Almamo Jammeh, Ousmane Diaby, Bangally Dukureh, Saibo Sillah and Mahamadou Jagana were clearing out a scrap metal storage bay when the collapse occurred.

A statement from the men’s families said they were “extremely disappointed” by the accidental death ruling, and shocked the men were killed at a plant in “one of the most developed countries in the world”.

The Health & Safety Executive has told the BBC its own investigation is proceeding.

Last week, the firm’s director Wayne Hawkeswood said: “I am absolutely devastated by the deaths of the five men and constantly think about the loss their family and friends have suffered.”

 

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