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Worker killed in factory accident

PUBLISHED: 21:45 05 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:15 24 February 2010

By Jonathan Barnes

AN investigation was under way last night after a woman was killed in an horrific workplace accident.

The 40-year-old woman from the Stowmarket area, who has not been named, was killed in a collision with a piece of heavy machinery at the British Sugar factory in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

By Jonathan Barnes

AN investigation was under way last night after a woman was killed in an horrific workplace accident.

The 40-year-old woman from the Stowmarket area, who has not been named, was killed in a collision with a piece of heavy machinery at the British Sugar factory in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

The accident happened at about 1.45pm as the woman was walking in the factory.

British Sugar said she was a seasonal employee who worked in the despatch department. Her colleagues are to be offered counselling.

Suffolk police are not treating the death as suspicious, but factory bosses and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have begun investigating the fatal collision.

Emergency services and the HSE were called to the factory, in Hollow Road, after the woman collided with a mechanical loading shovel in the despatch warehouse.

The warehouse area was sealed off after the accident, but the factory continued to operate as normal.

The woman was one of the factory's 75 seasonal employees taken on for the processing campaign between September and March.

John Smith, a spokesman for British Sugar, said: “We can confirm a fatal accident occurred at our Bury St Edmunds factory.

“Our sympathies go out to her family and our first priority is to support them and her colleagues at the factory.”

He added a “full investigation” was already under way into the accident. The Greater Suffolk coroner has been informed of the woman's death and an inquest will be held.

The factory, which was built in 1925, has capacity to process 12,000 tonnes of sugar beet a day, with more than 660 lorry loads accepted every day.

It has a permanent workforce of 100, rising to 175 during the processing campaign, when the factory operates 24 hours a day.

British Sugar pays the 1,300 growers supplying beet to the region about £58 million in an average year and pays another £750,000 in business rates.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk


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