Man who died after his crane plunged into river at Mepal has been named

A man who died after his 27-ton crane toppled into a freezing river in the Fens has been named today.

Rescuers tried in vain to reach Simon Wenn, 43, of Main Road, in Three Holes, near Wisbech, who was trapped in the submerged cab after the accident at Mepal, near March last Wednesday morning.

Emergency crews battled to help free the operator by smashing the glass cabin and pulling his head and shoulders above the water though his legs remained trapped according to the fire service.

But the father-of-three was declared dead at around 1pm around three hours after the crane fell into the freezing Old Bedford River.

An Environment Agency spokesman said Mr Wenn, who leaves behind his wife Beryl and their three children, had worked at the agency and its predecessor since 1992.

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman led the tributes to the crane driver in Parliament last week and told MPs: 'I hope the whole House will join me in extending our condolences to his family at this very difficult time.'

Health and Safety Executive officials are still investigating the accident, which happened near the A142 at Mepal.

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The crane driver was dredging a frozen section of river when the machine toppled down the bank.