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Police launch manslaughter probe after week of deaths

ESSEX Police have launched a manslaughter investigation after a 27-year-old construction worker was killed when he was hit by a digger bucket in Purfleet last week.

A 61-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. He was released on police bail and is due to report back to Grays police station in late September.

Ymer Gashi was fitting pipework in a trench close to the Purfleet Bypass when he was struck by the bucket.

A post mortem revealed he died from multiple injuries.

Police and the Health and Safety Executive have also launched a joint investigation after a 45-year-old man fell to his death from a platform at Castle Cement's £55 million kiln under construction at its Padeswood works near Mold, North Wales.

Belgian mechanical contractor Marc Vliegen fell 11 m from a platform up a 70 m-tall chimney on Saturday morning.He was treated at the scene but died on arrival at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Castle Cement production director Tony Allan said:

'Our thoughts are with his family.'

He was employed by Belgian Contractor Pirson Montage.

Amicus national official Paul Corby said: 'While our hearts go out to this man and his family, it highlights the concerns we have been raising about foreign contractors and workers in the engineering construction sector.

'The industry has a very good safety record and we want to protect the terms and conditions of workers to ensure that is not jeopardised.'

An 18-year-old man was killed and another seriously injured when a 3 m deep trench collapsed on top of them at a site in Grimesthorpe, Sheffield, last Wednesday.

John Morton and Dan Thompson were installing an interceptor tank when the trench it was being lowered into collapsed.

Mr Morton was taken to Northern General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.Mr Thompson suffered chest, hip and arm injuries.

Both men were working for principal contractor on site TG Beighton, where a number of industrial units were under construction.The HSE is investigating.