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Unlawful killing verdict in London death of Romanian labourer

31 year old worker died on a construction site in London when a lift collapsed

Posted on 21 February 2013

A jury has given a verdict of unlawful death after a 31 year old Romanian labourer, with one week’s work experience, was killed after a lift he was standing on fell 5 storeys to the bottom of the lift shaft as he worked on a demolition site is South London.
The Coroner, Kevin McLoughlin, recorded the verdict of unlawful killing at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Tuesday 19th February 2013 after a 5-day inquest into the death of Silviu Stefanita Radulescu.
Mr Radulescu died from severe head injuries on 17th January 2011 as the decommissioned Prison Service headquarters in John Islip Street, in London SW1, was being stripped out in preparation for it to be demolished.
Mr Radulescu was sent by MGM Construction Ltd as a labourer, to work for the main contractors Carey Group Plc. T E Scudder Ltd were contracted to remove many of the internal fixtures and fittings, including the 7 passenger lifts and their associated equipment.  Mr Radulescu was fatally injured when the lift car he was standing on crashed to the bottom of the lift shaft.
Mr Radulescu had been working in the UK since 2009 but in construction and with MGM Construction Ltd for only 1 week. He was not married but worked to maintain his parents who live in Romania.
The inquest heard how Mr Radulescu had very little training before working on the site.
Mr Radulescu’s colleagues described how he and Mr Serban were working on top of a lift to raise it manually from the 5th to the 8th floor.
The court heard that after a break they went back to work on the lift. Mr Neal gave evidence that he saw Mr Radulescu and his colleague Mr Serban on top of the lift.
Mr Neal said: “As I walked towards them the lift fell and they disappeared. I ran down to the first floor and prised open the door. I could not see anything because it was dark. I could hear one man crying and shouting.”
The lift weighed 2516kg and was supported by a single 2000kg chain which broke.
The Health & Safety Executive intends to refer the case back to the Police to consider prosecutions.