Worker killed in abbatoir accident UK

7:10am Saturday 20th August 2011

INVESTIGATIONS are underway after a worker died in a horrific accident at an abattoir near Wootton Bassett.

A 49-year-old man was found dead when emergency services arrived at F Drury and Sons abattoir in Tockenham on Thursday afternoon.

Wiltshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive have confirmed they are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.

A spokeswoman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police were contacted by Ambulance control to reports of a man having been injured at the abattoir near Wootton Bassett.

“On attendance, a 49 year-old man was found dead. The Health and Safety Executive have been informed and enquires to establish the circumstances surrounding the man's death are ongoing.”

Bosses at the abattoir said they could not comment because it was now a police matter.

But it is believed that the man was cleaning a piece of equipment used for pulling the hides from carcasses when he may have accidentally triggered a switch which set the machine in motion. It is thought the victim was crushed to death.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive confirmed they were also aware of the incident.

“We have started making initial enquires. We are sending an inspector to the site. At the moment Wiltshire Police are in the lead in the investigation,” he said.

At about 5.20pm police were contacted by the ambulance service after reports that a man had been injured.

A spokeswoman for Great Western Ambulance Service said: “We attended the scene but the individual involved was already dead when we arrived.

“There was unfortunately nothing we could do for him.”

The slaughterhouse hit the headlines in 2007 when a suspected case of foot and mouth was reported.

Representatives from DEFRA were called in after workers noticed unusual lesions on some of the lambs. Experts cordoned off the abattoir but the all clear was later given.

The same year, TV chef Gordon Ramsay featured the abattoir on his Channel 4 program the F-Word when he showed the slaughter of two lambs he had reared.