Tributes paid to victims of Yarmouth engineering accident

Moving tributes have been paid to the four men, including two brothers, who were killed in the collpase of a steel structure in Great Yarmouth on Friday.

As the health and safety inquiry into the accident gets under way, prayers have been said for Dan Hazelton, 30, his brother Tom Hazelton, 26, Peter Johnson, 42, and Adam Taylor, 28.

The men, who all lived in and around the village of Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, were killed while working at the Claxton engineering site in Great Yarmouth on Friday.

They were working four feet underground when a steel structure collapsed, trapping them.

Police say it will take several weeks to determine what happened.

Yesterday, prayers were said at All Saints' Church in Stanton. Many villagers struggling to come to terms with the tragedy attended the Holy Communion service.

The Rev David Messer, who has spoken to some of the grieving families, said: 'The feeling here is one of a sense of loss, bemusement and sadness. The whole community is affected; it has far-reaching consequences.

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'There is shock, not least because of the way the tragedy happened – while people were doing their jobs.'

Eva Hazelton, of Honeymeade Close, Stanton, is grandmother to Daniel and Tom Hazelton, and their surviving brother Matthew, who is a director of Hazegood Construction in Stanton.

She spoke only to voice utter disbelief at what had happened and said the entire family was devastated.

All four men had ties to local football clubs.

On Saturday, both Daniel Hazelton and Adam Taylor were due to take part in Stanton FC's match against Grundisburgh.

That match was abandoned out of respect to all four killed.

Joy Mayhew, secretary of Stanton FC, said: 'There's a complete feeling of disbelief. Everybody here is connected with everybody else and all four worked together. There has been a lot of tears.

'There is a complete feeling of disbelief. It is difficult enough to take it in when one person dies in a car accident. But for all of them to be killed? I just did not believe it.'

Jim Thorndyke, chairman of Stanton Parish Council, said: 'It's a tragedy for the families and there will be a lot of sadness in the village. Most people know about it.

'It is an absolute tragedy, particularly for the one family which has lost two boys.

'It is very sad. The Hazelton family has been in the village a long time and a lot of people know them.'

Adam Taylor had played for both Stanton and neighbouring Walsham le Willows FC, which cancelled its match on Saturday out of respect for the four men.

Michael Powles, chairman of Walsham le Willows FC, said: 'It is a close community and it has knocked everyone here sideways.'

A joint inquiry is now being carried out by Norfolk and Suffolk police's Major Investigation Team (MIT) with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Investigators carried out assessments of the Claxton site in North River Road throughout the weekend. But Det Chief Insp Neil Luckett, senior investigator for the MIT, said: 'This is a complex investigation and our inquiries – including assessments at the site – are likely to continue for several weeks.

'We will not be drawn into conjecture on the nature of the incident. The aim of our investiga-tion is to establish the full circumstances around what happened on the site.

'This is a distressing time for the families of those who sadly lost their lives and our thoughts go out to them.'

Home Office post-mortem examinations to determine the cause of death are due to be carried out today.

A statement released earlier by Claxton said: 'The company is fully co-operating with the investigation.'

It added everybody at Claxton was 'deeply saddened by what has occurred' and the company's thoughts and sympathy were with the families of the four men.