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PILE-DRIVERHORROR; Investigation launched after man, 36, killed.

Byline: LINDA WHITWAM

A MAN has died in an horrific accident on a building site at Holmfirth.

The 36-year-old man was killed while working on the site just yards from Huddersfield Road.

He is from North Yorkshire and was working on the site for the South Yorkshire-based construction company Green Piling Ltd.

The firm, based on the outskirts of Sheffield, has been going for 10 years and works on residential and industrial sites.

No further information on what happened has been released.

The incident happened just after 8.30 yesterday morning and is thought to have involved a giant pile-driving machine.

That was in use at the Fearnought Works construction site next to the police station on Huddersfield Road.

Police, Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance all attended.

The air ambulance landed on waste ground next to the site.

Later in the morning, officials from the contractors and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were at the scene carrying out investigations.

An HSE spokesman confirmed that it is carrying out a full investigation into the matter in conjunction with West Yorkshire Police.

A spokesman for Ben Bailey Homes, the firm developing the site, said: "In relation to the incident in Huddersfield Road, which resulted in the tragic death of a contractor who was employed by PMC, Ben Bailey Homes Limited is currently working with the contractors Greenpiling and the relevant authorities to establish the facts.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

HSE is the independent regulator acting in the public interest to reduce work-related death and serious injury in Britain.

Investigations into workplace deaths usually take one year or longer.

The accident happened on the former Dunsley Heat site, which was cleared for redevelopment.

The land is on a floodplain and the pile driver was being used to hammer giant steel girders vertically into the ground.

Normally concrete floats are then attached to the girders to provide foundations for buildings.

The 25-acre site has been the subject of much controversy since Dunsley left some four years ago.

A plan to build 48 new houses on the site was given the go-ahead by Kirklees Council last month, despite opposition from local residents and councillors.

The application was made by Ben Bailey Partnerships, a subsidiary of Gladedale, one on the biggest housebuilders in the UK.

Although the permission was only granted on March 8, the contractors began clearing the land at least one week earlier.

Nearby residents claim they were not fully informed of the process and have reported Kirklees Council to the Ombusdswoman for malpractice.

Holme Valley South Councillor Ken Sims said: "Local residents are up in arms, they were never consulted properly. Some of them only learned about the project in the media."

He opposed the development on the grounds of over intensification.

According to Mr Sims, the original 2007 application from Ben Bailey Partnerships had been for fewer houses of higher quality with a much more pleasing design for the whole site.

CAPTION(S):

* TRAGIC SCENE: Emergency crews and health and safety officers on the building site after the accident yesterday morning * DRAMA: Yorkshire Air Ambulance above the site and the pile-driver, main picture
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 19, 2011
Words:530
Previous Article:PILE DRIVE WORKER KILLED AT SITE; 36-year-old in Holmfirth tragedy.
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