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5 Dead In Accident At Birmingham Recycling Plant

West Midlands police are investigating the cause of the accident, which happened on Thursday morning in the city's Nechells district.

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West Midlands police
West Midlands police

An investigation is underway to find out how five men died in an industrial accident at a recycling plant near Birmingham on Thursday morning.

The ambulance service was called to the plant in Nechells, in the northwest of the city, at 8.45am, responding to reports that a wall had collapsed.

Police said that the five men were pronounced dead at the scene, while another man was taken to hospital with leg injuries.

Detective Superintendent Mark Payne from West Midlands police CID said in a statement: "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 [Health and Safety Executive] and the other emergency services at the scene."

Five men have died after an accident at a recylcing plant in Birmingham

Police have said that the victims were all foreign nationals believed to have been from an African country. A man who claimed to have known the men told the Birmingham Mail that they were from Gambia but held Spanish nationality.

Gary Taylor, assistant chief fire officer with the West Midlands fire service, 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.

Scene at industrial accident described as 'extremely challenging' by Asst Chief @GaryTaylorFire.

The fire service said in a statement that it arrived on the scene at 8.48pm. "On our arrival it was clear that a large concrete structure containing metal had collapsed, trapping a number of people," it said.

"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."

The fire service also deployed 10 members of its technical rescue team, who are expected to secure what the fire service said was a significant amount of concrete and metal that remains unstable.

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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