The body of a young apprentice who fell more than 20 metres to his death in Perth has now been recovered.
Two of the workers also on-site at the time of the collapse are this morning in hospital after falling through the glass ceiling at Curtin University.
The cause of the collapse is not yet known. Police said the family of the deceased man had been notified.
“As you can imagine, they would be devastated,” WA Police Commander Mike Bell said.
The accident happened at a construction site at the Bentley campus about 12.30 pm yesterday. Witnesses reported hearing screams and a sound “like an avalanche” as the building site collapsed.
The sad task to recover the apprentice’s body was difficult as it lay trapped under the rubble for close to nine hours before it was finally removed overnight.
A police robot was called in over concerns the entire structure could cave in even further.
The university responded in a statement “Curtin University wishes to extend its sincere condolences, thoughts and support to all those impacted by today’s tragic incident on campus,” .
“Curtin has cancelled events on campus this afternoon as a mark of respect to those so deeply affected by this tragedy.”
“No Curtin staff or students were involved in the incident.”
Electrical Trades Union WA branch organiser Damian Clancey was on a neighbouring site to visit members when he walked around building 418, and witnessed the tragic event unfold. Mr Clancy made a statement at the scene.
“When you hear of a young worker that’s died on the job, just starting his career in construction, what message does that send? It’s an absolute disgrace. Someone has to be accountable and made responsible for this.”
WA Police and WorkSafe are investigating the incident.
Building project manager, Lendlease issued a statement about the incident Tuesday night, saying safety was the company’s highest priority.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident, and our immediate priority is to support the workers’ families, friends and colleagues,” Lendlease’s building chief executive officer Dale Connor said.
The site remains closed an support is being offered to the Curtin University during this difficult time.