Court hears how Leyton labourer was crushed to death by falling glass

A Romanian labourer was crushed to death by nearly half a tonne of glass panels in a horrific accident at a warehouse, a court heard. Marian Iancu, 39, who was living in Leyton, was trapped between 400 kilos of glass and a forklift truck while operating machinery at the Rippleside Commercial Estate, in Barking, east London. Colleagues tried to rescue Mr Iancu but he suffered devastating injuries to his chest, fracturing his sternum and rupturing his heart.

He was pronounced dead at the scene on November 16, 2015, the Old Bailey heard. Company director Han Rao, 34, who moved to the UK from China in 2010, denies manslaughter by gross negligence and failing to ensure safety at work. Andrew Thomas, prosecuting, said: “It was his (Rao’s) job to ensure that his employees were working in a safe manner.

“It happened as Mr Iancu started to unload the third stillage. He moved it into place using the forklift truck and then with the forklift truck still in place went around to the front. “As Mr Iancu releases the strap the two panels topple forward and pin Mr Iancu against the truck.

“The panels struck him across the chest. At the time of the incident there was only a single strap holding the panels in place and he released that strap. “Those two panels fell back towards Mr Iancu and trapped him against the front of the forklift truck.

“The glass panels, bearing in mind Mr Iancu was stood at ground level, would have been about five inches above head height. “There is a metal bar that sits above the forks so that when the panels came back Mr Iancu was pushed back and trapped between the front of the forklift truck and the panels. “Mr Iancu was by now lying on the ground and emergency services were called.

First of all two police officers arrived, then a team of paramedics and then an air ambulance. “CPR and other life saving treatments was attempted but it became obvious it was too late and Mr Iancu was pronounced dead by the doctor at the scene.” Doctors also discovered he had seven separate rib fractures and a major vein connected to his heart had been ruptured, preventing the flow of blood and oxygen to his head and causing asphyxiation.

Mr Thomas said Rao will claim he told his employee to stop working but was ignored by him. Rao, of Deptford, southeast London, denies manslaughter by gross negligence. He and his company TLW (UK) Ltd also deny failing to ensure safety at work.

The trial continues.

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