Man Crushed to Death by Straw Bale

22.09.2008

A man has been crushed to death by a straw bale at the world's biggest straw-burning power plant, Elean Power Station in Sutton.

Gary Robert Darnell, 52, of Barway, near Ely, who worked for an independent haulage company, was unloading the 8x4ft bale from a lorry when it fell on him.

Eddie Wilkinson, chief executive of Energy Power Resources (EPR), which owns the station, said: "We are co-operating with police and the HSE. We cannot comment further as we are awaiting the interim outcome of the Health and Safety Executive investigation."

The power station is one of five owned by EPR, which produces about 10% of the UK's renewable energy. It was commissioned in 2000, and EPR took over operation and maintenance of the plant in June 2004.

It has a capacity of 38 megawatts, generates more than 270 gigawatts hours each year from 200,000 tonnes of straw and employs 28 staff.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: This was another tragic fatal work accident caused by a falling object.

"Falls from height or injuries caused by falling objects are a major source of serious or fatal industrial accidents.

"I represent many workers claim compensation after they have been injured or killed in a work accident."