THE horrifying moment a steelworker was fatally crushed by a 75 tonne cast at a Sheffield workshop was described to a courtroom yesterday.
Mortally-wounded David Roberts, aged 26, managed to phone his girlfriend and his family as he lay pinned beneath a huge metal ‘millhouse’ which crashed down on his legs in a sandpit at the Forgemasters North Machine Shop in Brightside Lane on June 16, 2010.
On the first day of a Sheffield inquest into his death, jurors were told Mr Roberts, of Adlington Road, Parson Cross, Sheffield, died on the operating table at the Northern General Hospital in the early hours the next morning.
Coroner Julian Fox read evidence from Paul Brown, a fitter who was working with Mr Roberts the night he died.
The inquest heard Mr Brown and Mr Roberts had unattached the metal structure, known as a millhouse, which was eight metres tall and three metres wide, from a gantry crane and were walking away from it when Mr Brown noticed it moving.
“David was standing with me and said, ‘That’s going nowhere Browny’,” he said.
“Then a few minutes later, as we started to walk out of the pit, I thought I saw it moving,” said Mr Brown.
“Everything was happening in slow motion as it started to fall.
“Dave was trying to get away but he fell over some sleepers and it crushed him.
“The paramedics and fire brigade were called, and he phoned his girlfriend and his family while he was under the casting.”
The jury was read evidence from forensic consultant pathologist Alfredo Walker, who said Mr Roberts died as a result of crush injuries to his pelvis and right lower leg.
The inquest is expected to continue until Monday.