Crawley: Gillingham Man Dies After Manhole Accident

A workman has died after being hit in the face by a manhole cover on a building site at a primary school.

The 26-year-old suffered a serious head injury while working at Langley Green Primary School in Crawley, West Sussex, on Friday, Sussex Police said.

The man, who has not been named but is from Gillingham, Kent, was taken by air ambulance to the Royal London Hospital in east London, but died from his injuries yesterday afternoon, a police spokesman confirmed today.

Teachers are believed to have closed the blinds at the school so as not to scare the pupils.

Justine Connolly, 41, from Crawley, told a newspaper that the man had suffered injuries to his stomach and face after the manhole cover broke free from the chains holding it in place.

The police spokesman said: "Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are working together to investigate the circumstances.

"An inquest has yet to be opened and adjourned by the West Sussex Coroner. The man has not yet been formally identified.''

The HSE said it was supporting Sussex Police in its investigation following the man's death.

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: "Together with the school we would like to express our sympathy to the family and friends of the man.

"At this stage it would be inappropriate to comment further as an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive is taking place.''

Construction company Balfour Beatty confirmed an employee of one of their subcontractors had died at the school on Friday.

A spokeswoman said: "Our immediate thoughts are with the family and friends of our colleague.

"The Health and Safety Executive and Sussex Police are carrying out a joint investigation with the full co-operation of Balfour Beatty to understand how this tragic incident occurred.

"Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.''

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