Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

February 24, 2015

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Inquest begins into Crossrail worker ‘crushed to death by concrete’

A construction worker was crushed to death as nearly a tonne of wet concrete poured onto him, while he was working at a Crossrail site in Holborn, central London, an inquest has heard.

Rene Tkacik, 44, from east London was fatally injured while spraying concrete onto excavated ground to build a new crossover tunnel at the Fisher Street site, on 7 March 2014.

Due to the tunnel’s 80ft (24m) depth it took an emergency team six minutes to reach him from ground level, the court heard. He was pronounced dead at the scene by doctors from London’s Air Ambulance.

During the hearing, which began on 23 February, a jury will hear from the Bam Ferrovial Kier joint venture, the Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall and Vinci (BBMV) joint venture, which is also working on Crossrail, and HSE, as well as witnesses to the fatal incident.

On the first day of the inquest the jury was shown a digital reconstruction of the tunnel where the incident happened.

Investigating officer Cavin McGrath said: “It was just under a tonne of concrete that came down, which is the equivalent of a bag of building sand.”

When Mr McGrath was asked if there were any rope or chains in front of the exclusion zone at the time of the accident, he replied: “There was not.”

No-one is facing prosecution for the death, the officer confirmed.

A statement from Mr Tkacik’s widow Renata said that her husband was working in the UK to earn money to send home to his family in Slovakia so he could pay for his daughter Esther to go to university.

He was described as a “hugely experienced” worker in court.

The inquest continues.

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