West Midlands Police have confirmed that five men have died after an industrial accident at a recycling site in Nechells this morning (7 July).
Officers were called by West Midlands Ambulance Service at 8.45am to Shredmet Limited in Aston Church Road to reports that a wall had collapsed.
Emergency services attended but the men could not be saved and they were pronounced dead at the scene. Another man has been taken to hospital with serious leg injuries.
An investigation into what happened is now underway. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been notified and are assisting officers at the scene.
Detective Superintendent Mark Payne, from Force CID, 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 at this time.
“This has been a very traumatic incident for those who were at the site this morning and we will continue to work alongside the HSE and the other emergency services at the scene.”
West Midlands Fire Service [UPDATED]
West Midlands Fire Service deployed a fire crew from Ward End community fire station.
“On our arrival it was clear that a large concrete structure containing metal had collapsed, trapping a number of people,” the Fire Service said in a statement. “Very sadly, five people were pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor. One other person who was seriously injured was taken to hospital by the ambulance service.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Gary Taylor, of West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS), said: “This is a devastating incident is for everyone involved. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the victims’ families and colleagues.
“Once the police have finished their initial examination of the scene, our absolute priority will be to ensure that the bodies of those who have lost their lives are recovered in the most timely and safe way possible, and with the utmost dignity and respect.
“The scene is an extremely challenging one, involving significant tonnage of concrete and metal and a structure that is still unstable. We have an assertive recovery plan in place and expect this operation to take several hours.
“The skills and services of West Midlands Fire Service will be available for whatever needs to be done, and we will be working hand in glove with our partners at the scene.”