All five were Spanish nationals originally from The Gambia, and were agency workers at the Hawkeswood Metal plant in the Nechells area of Birmingham.
The workers died when a 15ft tall concrete wall collapsed on top of them. The partition wall’s concrete blocks, each weighing one and a half tons, fatally rained down on the group of workers.
All the deceased are thought to be family men, including Saibo Sillah, 42, who was married and had seven children.
Police and Health and Safety Executive investigators are thought to be determining whether negligence could have caused wall to collapse.
West Midlands Police detective superintendent Mark Payne said: “It’s a wall constructed of blocks that weigh about one and a half tonnes each. They are concrete blocks, huge blocks. That wall was supporting, and retaining a body of scrap metal. It appears that the wall has collapsed on top of the men.
“We are investigating, together with the HSE, whether there are any issues of negligence or malpractice that have contributed to that wall falling down.”
A statement from the plant owners read: “The loss of life and injury were caused by the collapse of a partitioning wall within the company premises. At the present time it is not known why the wall collapsed, as the wall had been in place for more than two years and had not been subject to any damage, or was not subject to any incident that would have resulted in its collapse. The incident is being fully investigated by the West Midlands Police and the Health and Safety Executive, and the management of Shredmet Limited and its workforce are providing full cooperation with the investigation. At this present time the company cannot provide any further information. Shredmet Limited management and staff wish to offer their condolences to the families of all those involved in the incident at this very sad time.”
The business recorded an annual turnover of more than £30m, reporting a net profit in 2015 of £327,000 in accounts submitted in February this year, and employs 26 people.
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