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Quarry Death Blamed On Fencing

Death in Quarry


The inquest into the death of a girl who died in a South Yorkshire quarry has ruled that the absence of fencing and warning signs to deter trespassers was to blame.

Amber Worth, 13, died instantly as she was struck on the head by a large rock at the quarry in Grimethorpe, near Barnsley, last April.

An engineering expert said at the inquest at Sheffield Crown Court that the state of the fencing at the quarry failed to meet regulations.

The quarry's owner may be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for failing to deter trespassers.

Jurors heard the site had been a haunt for local children for many years and that thieves stole boundary fencing as quickly as it was replaced. Other failures included easy access to the site and no security patrols.

Amber, from Brierley, near Barnsley, and five friends had been in the quarry for 15 to 20 minutes before the 3ft-wide, half-tonne block of sandstone fell on her.

The Crown Prosecution Service said after the hearing it would not pursue a criminal prosecution against Carlton Main Brickworks Ltd, which owns the quarry.

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Sion Kingston from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This case highlights the dangers of children being allowed access to dangerous sites. The quarry was a site known to be visited by children yet the owners failed to take reasonable steps to prevent access to their property. The law imposes responsibilities upon property owners to ensure the safety of visitors to their premises even where people are trespassing where there are known dangers. Whilst the CPS have chosen not to pursue a criminal case against the owners, there are civil remedies open to the family though nothing will clearly compensate them for the loss of their daughter."