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Crewe crane collapse: Killed men identified

Scene
Image caption The two men died at the scene on Wednesday

Two building site workers killed when a crane collapsed in Crewe have been identified.

David Newall, 36, from Bradford, and Rhys Barker, 18, from Castleford, West Yorkshire died at the site in Dunwoody Way on Wednesday.

A 45-year-old man from Glossop, who was working near the crane, is in a stable condition in hospital.

Post-mortem tests found the two men died from crush injuries. The Health and Safety Executive is investigating.

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Mr Barker's family said it was his first job.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Rhys Barker's family said this was his first job since leaving Airedale Academy last year

His former school Airedale Academy paid tribute to him, saying he was a "lovely young man with his whole life ahead of him".

Principal Elizabeth Fairhurst said Mr Barker had studied business and left last year.

"He was a friendly young man, extremely well-mannered, who was popular with other students.

"His teachers remember him as hardworking, dedicated and quiet; he regularly took part in sporting events for the school," she said.

She said one of his friends was fundraising for money for a memorial bench in the school grounds and students had organised a balloon release in his memory.

A parent and child were taken to hospital as a precaution because the crane damaged a nearby home.

Police said the three men were "working on the crane" when the accident happened.

The man in hospital, believed to be the crane driver, has serious injuries but they are not thought to be life-threatening.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police say the men were working on the crane

The building site - formerly part of the Bombardier Works complex - belongs to Seddon Homes. Its chief executive said he could not speculate about what had happened.

A man who lives nearby, who only gave his name as Jason, told BBC Radio Stoke the crane - being used to help build new homes - had been lifting tools before it fell.

"They finished the work, the crane positioned itself facing Bombardier.

"The guys finished their work and they were still up there when all of a sudden, it slowly just started to tilt, tilt tilt.

Image caption Emergency services were at the scene, including the fire service's major incident unit

"Guys started shouting and it completely fell on the floor."

Image caption Flowers and written tributes have been left

Steven Hogben, a Labour councillor on Cheshire East Council, said he drove past the site a few minutes before the accident.

He said he had thought the crane looked "amazingly high".

"It was a tall crane which only appeared a few days ago," he said.

"I'm not aware of any concerns having been raised about it."

Image caption The crane only appeared a few days ago, witnesses say

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