A Doncaster man crushed to death by a plunging lift is believed to have just started a new job the same day.
The 37-year-old lift engineer was working in the four-storey Queens House on Paragon Street in Hull city centre on Monday afternoon when it is thought he fell about 30ft down an elevator shaft.
The victim, who is not yet being named, was then crushed by the lift moments later, in what has been described as a ‘freak’ and ‘horrific’ accident.
It is not yet known how he came to fall, and health and safety inspectors from Hull City Council have taken over the investigation from Humberside Police.
An employee at Queens House said: “It is absolutely horrific.
“It was his first day in a new job and I spoke with him a bit. He was a nice man and it was a freak accident.
“I went up to see if he was alright at one point but he wasn’t there. I just thought he had gone for his lunch break. Not long after that the building started to shudder and shake.
“It was hard to know what was happening, so we evacuated the building as soon as possible. It soon turned out the vibrating was coming from the lift being stuck. People are very upset.”
Police have confirmed the man is from the Doncaster area, and that specially trained officers are helping his family.
More than a dozen emergency vehicles were called to the city centre building shortly before 4pm on Monday.
Firefighters with cutting equipment entered the building as members of the public gathered to see what was happening, and crime scene investigators spent several hours inside.
Hull City Council yesterday confirmed they would lead the health and safety investigation.
Humberside Police said they were satisfied there are no suspicious circumstances in relation to the incident.
Due to the nature of the building, and as part of the Health and Safety Enforcing Authority Regulations 1998, the investigation falls under the remit of the local authority rather than the Health and Safety Executive.
Julia Weldon, director for public health, said: “Our condolences go out to the family, relatives and friends of the man who sadly died on Monday.
“We can now confirm that Hull City Council is investigating the case.
“At this stage it is unclear how long the investigation will take.”
A post-mortem examination on the man’s body was taking place yesterday.
It is expected an inquest will be opened by the Hull Coroner early next week after formal identification has been carried out.