Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham wall collapse deaths: £20,000 raised for families

Nechells wall collapse Image copyright PA
Image caption The final two of the five bodies were recovered on Friday afternoon. The site is still closed for police investigations.

A fund to raise money for the families of the five Birmingham wall collapse victims has passed £20,000.

The men died when a 15ft wall of concrete and scrap metal fell on them as they worked on Thursday at Hawkeswood Metal in Nechells.

The editor of the Birmingham Mail, which started the fund, said the response had been "overwhelming".

Police said the site remains closed and post mortem examinations would take place on Monday.

Donations have been flooding in from across the country for the men, who were Spanish citizens originally from Gambia.

All the bodies were recovered from the rubble by Friday.

Mr Reeves said: "No money can ever fill the void left by a loved one, especially in a tragedy of this sort.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Specialist support officers have been counselling families of the victims

"But at least if the families are freed from the concerns of paying for funerals, travel for family members, and all the other immediate financial worries that get in the way of grieving, then it is worthwhile to raise some money to help.

"The response is overwhelming, and as well as the financial support, we hope this sends a message to the families that Birmingham cares about them and feels their pain."

The men have been named locally as Bangaly Dukureh, Ousman Jabbie, Alimamo Jammeh, Mohammed Jangana and Saibo Sillah. All are believed to married with children.

Relatives have said they want the bodies recovered for burial as soon as possible, in accordance with Muslim custom.

A sixth man, who escaped with a broken leg, is also a Spanish citizen of Gambian heritage.

Image copyright Lang Dampha
Image caption Alimamo Jammeh, one of the five men who died, was due to collect keys for a new home on Thursday. His wife and family were due to fly into the UK on Sunday

Detectives have said they have a "reasonable idea" about what happened.

Hawkeswood Metal Recycling Ltd, which employs about 50 people, was established more than 40 years ago and says it deals with more than 500,000 tonnes of scrap metal each year at its Nechells site.

In 2012 it was fined £50,000 when a worker got his arm trapped in machinery. It also pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to a breach of health and safety law.

The plant was also the scene of a major fire in February this year, as 700 tonnes of scrap metal went up in flames.

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