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Worker killed in landslide

A surveyor has been killed in a landslide at a building site in Gloucestershire.

Alex Wright, 27, a soil engineer for Cotswold Geotech, was taking samples from the site in Stroud, Gloucestershire, when a trench collapsed and buried him under tonnes of mud on Friday afternoon.

The collapse is thought to have been caused by torrential rainfall weakening the trench walls - although police said the cause is yet to be confirmed.

Mr Wright, a Imperial College London graduate and assistant Scout leader, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Efforts by the Fire and Rescue Service to recover the body were hampered by weather conditions and it was eventually retrieved yesterday afternoon.

Police and the Health and Safety Executive remain at the scene today as they investigate the cause of death.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said: "The Health and Safety Executive has been informed of the death and a joint investigation with police, who remain at the scene at this time, has begun.

"The deceased's family and the coroner have also been informed."

Speaking from the family home in Capel Lane, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, Mr Wright's parents paid tribute to their "ideal son".

His father Joseph, 55, an agricultural engineer, told the Gloucestershire Echo: "We are absolutely devastated. He was the ideal son you could have asked for.

"He was really family orientated and couldn't do enough for his family and those around him."

Mother Shelley, 52, a painter and decorator, said: "I don't know how we will manage without him. If he could do anything for anybody he would.

"In the last few months he was so happy. He had been with his partner for a year and they were going to get married."

Mr Wright graduated from Imperial College London in 2002 with a degree in geology.

He had worked for consulting engineers Cotswold Geotech Ltd as a soil engineer for more than two years and was also an assistant scout leader with the Charlton Kings Scout Troop, in Cheltenham.

Fellow leaders at the group declined to comment. Cotswold Geotech Ltd said it would release a statement later today.

A spokesman for Cotswold Geotech today paid tribute to Mr Wright.

He said: "Alex was a committed, enthusiastic and experienced engineering geologist who always took the greatest of pleasure from his work.

"He had been a highly thought of member of the staff at Cotswold Geotech for over two-and-a-half years, and it was expected that he would soon achieve a more senior professional role within the organisation.

"This small company is a very close-knit unit, and each and every one of us is totally devastated by his tragic death. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time."