Fish processor in pallet death probe

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

The HSE is participating in a joint investigation into the incident with local police
The HSE is participating in a joint investigation into the incident with local police

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A death at fish processor Interfish caused by a falling pallet has sparked a joint investigation by Devon & Cornwall Police and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

According to the police force, a 22 year-old Slovakian man died after a pallet fell on him at the firm's Cattledown plant, near Plymouth

In a statement, Interfish said: “A 22 year old male employee was tragically killed and a second employee injured on the evening of Friday 18th October while working at our factory at Wallsend Industrial Estate in Plymouth.

"Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the deceased at this very sad time. We are co-operating fully with the relevant authorities investigating this incident.”

Devon & Cornwall Police said: “The man died following an industrial incident at the Interfish factory ... He was working in the freezer area when he is believed to have been struck by a falling pallet and sustained fatal injuries as a result.​ 

Appealing for information​ 

“Police are investigating the matter along with the HSE to establish the exact circumstances of the incident and are appealing for anyone who may have information to come forward ...”

A spokesman for Devon & Cornwall Police told yesterday (October 22) that it intended to formally identify the deceased shortly. But it added that it was “early days”​, so the investigation could take some time.

A spokesman for the HSE confirmed the investigation was standard procedure under the circumstances. “The HSE has been informed and is also investigating.

‘Inspectors visiting the site’

“It’s a joint investigation with the police. It always is where there is a fatality involved. HSE inspectors have been visiting the site.”

He stressed it would be impossible to estimate how long the process would take, as every incident was different.

Interfish is involved in the processing and wholesaling of seafood, including fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

Police have advised anyone who believes they have information relevant to the investigation to contact them, citing crime reference EC/13/10218.

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