Stanton: Safety chiefs say progress is being made in investigations into the deaths of four friends in industrial accident at Claxton Engineering

Tom Hazleton who died in the accident at Great Yarmouth. Tom Hazleton who died in the accident at Great Yarmouth.

By Staff Reporter news@archant.co.uk
Friday, December 27, 2013
12:07 PM

The health and safety executive has insisted that progress is being made in its investigation into the deaths of four men in an industrial accident.

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Dan Hazelton from Stanton with son FreddieDan Hazelton from Stanton with son Freddie

Daniel Hazelton, 30, Thomas Hazelton, 26, Peter Johnson, 41, and Adam Taylor, 28, died on January 21, 2011 on an engineering site in Great Yarmouth.

The men, from Stanton and Rickinghall in Suffolk, were killed while working on Claxton Engineering’s site in North River Road when a steel structure collapsed.

The four men were working four feet underground when they were crushed by the structure.

At a pre-inquest hearing in Norwich, a representative for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it was still considering whether to make any prosecutions in the case, but that “progress had been made”.

A report has now been handed to the Norfolk Coroner, Jacqueline Lake, according to Ruth Barber, solicitor for HSE.

But Ms Barber said she was reluctant to discuss the contents of the report at the hearing.

“Developments have been made
and progress in relation to witnesses, but we would not want to prejudice anything by discussing it in open court,” she said.

At a previous pre-inquest in November, Ms Lake said she was eager for any inquest not to influence prosecutions. The HSE was also criticised by solicitors at the hearing for dragging its feet.

A solicitor for the executive said the agency was dealing with “voluminous” amounts of information in relation to the case.

Another pre-inquest hearing will be held on January 21, with the full inquest planned for February 10.

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