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Young father killed in excavation site

PUBLISHED: 13:13 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:01 07 September 2010

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Tan Parsons A CARPENTER has been crushed to death while working on a basement excavation site in Hampstead. Craig Page, 26, was killed under a crane on Denning Road on Friday last week. Witnesses said he was crushed by the boom arm of the crane when it fe

Tan Parsons

A CARPENTER has been crushed to death while working on a basement excavation site in Hampstead.

Craig Page, 26, was killed under a crane on Denning Road on Friday last week.

Witnesses said he was crushed by the boom arm of the crane when it fell into the hole, and he was confirmed dead at the scene around 12.30pm.

London Ambulance Services sent two fast response cars, an ambulance and an air ambulance but they were unable to save Mr Page.

An inquest into his death was opened at St Pancras Coroners Court on Tuesday.

The coroner, Dr Andrew Reid, said: "In broad outline Mr Page died on this site which is a building site and he was involved in construction works to a certain degree.

"A five-tonne crane with an extending boom arm was in operation.

"It appears Mr Page died at the scene and we are in further investigations with Dr Patel, who is carrying out a post mortem. The precise cause of the death is unknown."

The incident is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, led by Sarah Snelling from the Field Operations Directorate.

She said: "The police sealed the scene off and conducted various evidence collection procedures.

"We jointly searched some of the items at the scene with the police. The crane tipped over. The reason for that is not yet clear.

"We will be examining the crane, which is a mobile crane on caterpillar tracks. We will be checking with the main contractors, the subcontractors and looking at the possibility Mr Page was self employed - we cannot say exactly what the relationships are."

Mr Page, who was a shuttering carpenter, was born in Whittington Hospital and lived with his fiancee Michelle O'Donoghue and their 14-month-old daughter Shannon at their home in Caledonian Road.

Ms O'Donoghue said: "He loved being a dad.

"He would do anything for everyone - even a stranger in the street. Everybody loved him."

The contractor who has been carrying out work at the site since autumn 2008 is Harris Calnan.

Boss Colin Calnan said: "The HSE are investigating and we are complying fully with them.

"Everyone here is shocked and our thoughts are with the victim and his family at this time."

A spokesman for Pennington Phillips, the architects behind the development, said: "We do not yet know the full details ourselves at the moment, but this is a tragedy."

Neighbour Peter Copping, who lives in Pilgrim's Lane, said: "It's always a shock when someone gets hurt, and when it happens the-re should be a full investigation.

"I expect the site will be closed for some time now because of health and safety."

The inquest is expected to resume in the autumn.


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