Investigation ongoing into Crewe crane deaths 

Cheshire Police and the Health & Safety Executive have yet to identify what caused a crane to collapse, killing three men at a Crewe building site in June.  

David Newall and Rhys Barker were working on Seddon’s building site in Dunwoody Way on 21 June when the crane collapsed, killing both men at the scene. A third man, David Webb, a tower crane technician, was injured and airlifted to hospital, but died on 25 July.  

All three men were employees of Falcon Tower Crane, a national crane hire company which owns and operates the equipment. Seddon was in the process of building a two-storey care home when the incident happened.  

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “We don’t have an estimated date for the end of the investigation and we don’t know how long it will go on for. Nobody has been charged yet and we still don’t know what caused the crane to fall.”  

The Health & Safety Executive said: “There were three fatalities here so we are working very closely with Cheshire police to establish why this happened. As it’s a work-related death, the police have primacy in investigating why the deaths occurred.”  

Last year Falcon Tower Crane was fined £750,000 by the Health & Safety Executive and ordered to pay costs of £100,000 for breaching sections of the Health & Safety at Work Act, after a crane collapse in 2006 caused the deaths of the crane operator and a member of the public.  

A public register for crane usage became mandatory in 2010 in an attempt to curb crane-related accidents, but the coalition government later revoked the register. Prior to the Crewe incident, since 2001 there have been 61 accidents involving tower cranes, nine people have died, and 25 have been seriously injured.   

Jonathon Seddon, chief executive of Seddon, said that the company “is continuing to co-operate with the police and Health & Safety Executive during the course of this investigation and remains committed to ensuring all reasonable measures are taken to keep people safe on our construction sites”.

Falcon Crane Towers has been contacted for comment.  


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