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HSE draws blank on Canary Wharf crane collapse

The Health and Safety Executive has drawn a blank after a five-year probe into the deaths of three workers in the crane collapse at London's Canary Wharf in May 2000.
Following the conclusion of its investigation, the HSE said: 'Despite a very technical and complex investigation involving HSE inspectors, the Metropolitan Police, the Health and Safety Laboratory, lifting specialists and external experts, there is no conclusive explanation for the incident.'

Michael Whittard,39, from Leeds, Martin Burgess,31, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, and Peter Clarke, 33, from London, all died in the accident after plunging 150 m to the ground when the arm of the Wolff 320 BF tower crane they were working on at the HSBC Bank building toppled during a routine jacking operation.

The HSE added: 'We have decided that there is insufficient evidence to support any enforcement action in relation to this tragic incident and it is not in the public interest to bring a prosecution in relation to other matters.'

A coroner's inquest in 2003 recorded an open verdict into the death of the men, saying the matter was not 'fully or further explained'.

To view the full report, go to http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/crane.

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