Construction worker is crushed to death by five tonnes of falling steel at business tycoon’s £2million home
A construction worker has been crushed to death by five tonnes of falling steel while working on at a businessman’s £2million home.
The man is believed to have been killed when a crane operating on site dropped its load.
Police and emergency services were called to the scene shortly after 1.30pm.
The huge crane was lifting metal from the back of a lorry when the load dropped from the air landing directly on top of him
However, the man, in his 40s, was almost immediately pronounced dead. He has yet to be formally identified.
He became impaled on one of the rods of steel which was being hoisted off the truck.
The site crane was understood to have lifted up the five tonne pile of metal when the chain holding the bundle together snapped.
According to neighbours, he remained trapped under the metal rubble for hours after as fire crews equipped with a cherry picker worked tirelessly to lift the heap from his body.
His body has since been recovered and has been removed from the scene in a private ambulance.
The riverside property at which the tragedy struck is tucked away amongst weeping willows on a quaint and leafy bank along the River Wey in Weybridge, Surrey.
It was bought for around £900,000 by millionaire businessman Hugh Villiers several years ago.
The expensive renovations are nearing completion after five years work and is kitted out with a cinema, indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, and health spa.
Shocked residents of the quiet and affluent residential area surrounding the building site said they had seen as many as 15 emergency services vehicles scrambling to the scene
A police car was pictured standing guard outside the property as rescue services continued to work well into the night
A spokesman for Surrey Police said: ‘Officers attended Wey Meadows at around 1.30pm today following reports that a man had died after being trapped under metal construction materials.
‘Police and other emergency services attended the location but the man was sadly declared dead at the scene. Officers are working with the Health and Safety Executive to establish the circumstances surrounding the death.’
Mr Villiers, 63, is believed to have made his money in marketing, holding directorial roles at a number of publishing and consumer feedback firms.
He ran Data Locator Group Ltd (DLG), based in Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire between 2009 and 2010. He now owns marketing agency CMCI Ltd, based overseas in Gibraltar.
Shocked residents of the quiet and affluent residential area surrounding the building site said they had seen as many as 15 emergency services vehicles scrambling to the scene.
A helicopter was also seen landing in a nearby field.
Victor Spink, 77, who lives in the next property along to Mr Villiers’ home, said: ‘The first I knew something had happened was when I heard the helicopter.
‘There was five police cars, two ambulance trucks, a fire and rescue truck has just turned up and then another four cars have appeared.
‘In total I have seen down this quiet lane of Wey Meadows about 12 or 15 vehicles. There is a lot of activity here.’
Mr Spink described the progression of the house over the last five years, stating that the property had remained unoccupied while Mr Villiers tended to business overseas.
‘The original house was demolished about five years ago and a pit was dug to make the basement below,’ Mr Spink continued.
‘Then the new house was delivered from Germany. I think the house inside is finished now. It has a very large basement with a cinema, swimming pool, health room and jacuzzi. It is a big building.
‘The fire service has turned up with a cherry picker which is sat at the end of the lane waiting for something to happen. All I was told by the police constables was that there was a serious accident involving a worker. There is a lot of heavy gear here for just a simple accident.
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed that they had been made aware of the tragic accident.
The spokesman said: ‘The Health and Safety Executive is aware of a fatal incident in Weybridge and is attending the site.’
It was not known at this stage whether a full investigation was to be launched by the HSE.
A file was being prepared for the coroner and an inquest was expected to be opened and adjourned in the next few days. A post-mortem examination was expected to take place to establish the exact cause of death.
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