Work has resumed at the Nechells recycling plant in Birmingham to recover the remaining three bodies left over night. Emergency services spending a second day at disaster scene that claimed five lives all believed to be Spanish Nationals of Gambian origin.
The men have not been officially name but were named locally as Saibo Sillah, 42, Alimamo Jammeh, Ousman Jabbie, Bangaly Dukureh and Mohammed Jagana.
The UK Prime Minister David Cameron has send his condolences to the families of the deceased @Number10gov PM: Shocked to hear about the tragedy in Birmingham. My thoughts are with the families of those involved.
Investigation ‘could take weeks’
According to the Det Supt Mark Payne, of West Midlands Police, a joint Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and police investigation was being carried out to establish the cause but warned the process could take weeks to complete.
“It’s a difficult and complex process, we’ve had to move a huge amount of metal and concrete in order to access some of the deceased men. That process is still ongoing,” according to Det Supt Mark Payne.
Prayers said for the dead
Prayers have been said at local mosques while the president of the city’s Gambian Association Ansumana Barrow based in Ladywood said the community had been left “devastated. We are hard working. They [the 5 men who died] are feeding their families, that’s why they are here. Unfortunately, this thing happens.”
The Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, has issued a statement saying:
“We have all been immensely saddened by the news that five people have died at the re-cycling plant in Nechells. The Catholic community in Birmingham will remember their grieving families in our prayers.
We also pray for others who were injured and for the emergency services supporting all those affected at this time.”
A spokesman for Hawkeswood Metal confirmed the deaths were caused by “the collapse of a partitioning wall within the company premises” but it was not known why the structure had collapsed.
“The wall had been in place for more than two years and had not been subject to any damage or was not subject to any incident that would have resulted in its collapse,” he said.
The company, which says it is co-operating fully with police, fire crews and the Health and Safety Executive, said it wished “to offer their condolences to the families of all those involved in the incident at this very sad time”.