Warehouse worker survives cheese warehouse collapse

By James Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

A warehouse worker was trapped for nine hours under tonnes of cheese
A warehouse worker was trapped for nine hours under tonnes of cheese

Related tags: Transport

A factory worker trapped under tonnes of cheese survived for nine hours before being rescued at a Shropshire warehouse.

The accident occurred at Edwards Transport in Hinstock on May 5 when metal racking holding cheddar and Red Leicester collapsed on top of worker Tomasz Wisniewski.

Shelving inside the warehouse fell on top each other and caused one of the outer walls to bulge outward.

Fire-fighters used tools to cut through a warehouse wall to gain access to the site. It is unknown what caused the accident.

Deputy chief fire officer for Shropshire Fire Service Rod Hammerton told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “There had been a large scale collapse of the racking in the premises which had brought down approximately 3.5K tonnes of cheese.

“When it was reported to us ​[Shopshire Fire Service] there was a high likelihood of someone in there in need of being rescued.”

Minimal injuries

Wisniewski is believed to have survived the ordeal by staying in his forklift truck when the collapse took place. Miraculously he walked out of the wreckage and received minimal injuries.

Co-owner of Edwards Transport Alan Edwards told the Daily Star: ​“The warehouse is used as part of our business to transport cheese to supermarkets up and down the country.

“We transport the stuff all over the place, so I don’t know what will happen to distribution.”

13 fire engines

The rescue service –Urban Search and Rescue – sent teams, including dogs, to assist in the search for Wisniewski and 13 fire engines attended the accident as well. A snake eye camera was also used to help find the victim trapped in the wreckage.

The company started in the 1930s as A.J Edwards and Sons transporting potatoes before it became Edwards Transport in the 1970s.  It offers chilled storage and distribution across the UK.

Meanwhile, a teenage worker died of asphyxiation after an accident in a grain silo. Zach Dean Fox was trying to clear a blockage from an exit hole in the bottom of a bin when he was immersed in the free-flowing grain on August 1 2014.

The accident was deemed an “entirely avoidable tragedy”​ by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

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