Birmingham wall collapse deaths: Prosecution decision delayed

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Almamo Jammeh, Ousmane Diaby, Bangally Dukureh, Saibo Sillah and Mahamadou Jagana died in Birmingham in 2016

A decision to delay any prosecutions in opposition to a recycling agency over the deaths of 5 African males in 2016 is “completely stunning”, an MP has stated.

The males have been clearing scrap steel after they died at Shredmet, in Birmingham.

Relatives stated the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) put again its decision regardless of guarantees, leaving them feeling like their lives didn’t matter.

The HSE stated the inquiry took “longer than we had hoped” however shadow minister Seema Malhotra criticised the delay.

The HSE blamed adjustments to its authorized group and disruption attributable to the coronavirus pandemic for including to delays.

Almamo Jammeh, Ousmane Diaby, Bangally Dukureh, Saibo Sillah and Mahamadou Jagana died when a 3.6m (11ft 10in) concrete wall collapsed on them on the plant in Nechells on 7 July 2016.

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Hawa Kaba, widow of Bangally Dukureh, stated she had by no means received over the loss of life of her husband

The households stated they have been assured by the HSE the decision on whether or not the agency can be prosecuted can be made by the fourth anniversary of their deaths.

Daniel Lemberger Cooper, who represents the widows and one survivor, instructed BBC News the households needed justice.

In a joint assertion, the households stated: “This information has prompted us grief and anguish. We have met with delay at each stage of the method. We demand justice and accountability.

“We are 5 black households, from Gambia and Senegal; it’s as if our lives don’t matter. Our lives do matter.”

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After the incident, mates and households gathered outdoors Shredmet to indicate their emotions

Ms Malhotra, Labour’s shadow employment minister, stated she and shadow employment rights minister Andrew McDonnell would instantly write to the HSE to ask for a proof for the delay, including it was “staggering that folks have such little leverage over a system that was set as much as do the fitting factor”.

“News that the HSE have but once more delayed their investigation is completely stunning,” she stated.

“It is unacceptable that 4 years on, the households nonetheless haven’t got a solution and are left in limbo.”

She stated the lads had been working onerous to construct a life for his or her households and “their lives matter, and their households deserve solutions and for the individuals accountable to be held accountable”.

The males got here to the UK from Spain, the place that they had discovered it more and more troublesome to search out employment after the nation’s financial downturn.

An unintentional loss of life verdict was recorded on the inquest into the deaths in 2018, with jurors discovering the chance of the partition collapsing was by no means recognized, regardless of being “foreseeable”.

Shredmet’s security advisor Michael White instructed the inquest in an announcement he was not requested to evaluate the dangers of partitions on the scrapyard and he had “no data” how lengthy the wall had been there, who constructed it or what its function was.

Wayne Hawkeswood, Shredmet’s managing director, instructed the inquest he “merely can’t comprehend how this occurred”.

Urging the HSE to make a decision as quickly as attainable, the households stated they may not “grieve or transfer on”.

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West Midlands Fire Service

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The HSE investigation started a yr after West Midlands Police closed its investigation

“We have all the time maintained that what occurred to our family members is a matter not simply of our non-public grief however one in every of public concern,” they stated.

“We can solely hope {that a} sturdy and unflinching investigation is going down…they owe it to our family members, who had their lives lower brief.”

A spokesman for the HSE stated it had been finishing up a radical felony investigation because the deaths and following up new traces of inquiry after the inquest, which had meant the investigation had taken longer than hoped.

“We have reassured the households that we’re doing all we are able to to deliver this to a conclusion as swiftly as attainable, whereas ensuring that we attain the fitting felony requirements of investigation and may take the fitting motion to safe justice.”

Shredmet has been contacted by the BBC for a response.

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