Posted: Tue 7th Feb 2017

Investigation into death of a man at Deeside paper mill handed over to Health & Safety Executive

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 2017

Police say they have handed the investigation into the death of a man at UPM Shotton Paper Mill, Deeside yesterday February 6, to the Health and Safety Executive.

The man, who has been named locally as 29-year-old-father-of-one Austin Thomas from Flint was struck at 11.30am by a large bucket loader, a vehicle used to move waste paper around a warehouse at UPM, it was being driven by another contract worker.

UPM Shotton’s own Emergency Response Team were first at the scene of the incident, the team included a first aid responder.

The emergency services were called immediately, sadly the former Welsh Guard could not be heled by paramedics and died at the scene.

North Wales Police subsequently arrested the driver of the bucket loader, who assisted them with their enquiries he was later released without further charge.

DCI Neil Harris said;

“A man arrested yesterday in connection with the matter has now been released without charge and there will be no further police action.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased at the very difficult time.”

The man who died was a contract worker within the inbound recovered fibre warehouse say UPM.
The HSE has concluded interviewing of witnesses and reviewed materials relating to the incident.
North Wales Police has handed the case to HSE for sole investigation UPM will continue to fully support a statement from the firm says.
Mr David Ingham, General Manager, UPM Shotton said:
“We are all deeply shocked by this tragic incident. We made the decision to close the whole mill overnight as a mark of respect for the deceased and his family.
Staff affected by the incident will be offered support going forward, including counselling as required.”
He added: “We will continue to work closely with all parties to identify the cause of the incident. As this remains a live investigation by HSE we are unable to provide further comment.”

Tributes have been paid to the former soldier on social media by friends and family:

I found out some really sad news today…. another Welsh Guards is down! Thomas Austin (Sov) I will miss you my brother…. R.I.P mate, see you when I get there…. my thoughts are going out to the family. He was a good lad! Gutted! – LuckyLuke Mills

Sov we were only together just before Christmas mate it’s devastating that you’ve been taken in this way after everything you have survived. The best lads always go first ? RIP Austin Thomas another brother taken too soon see you on the reorg! Xx Russ Kelly

I’m in total shock tonight the Welsh Guard family has lost another brother RIP Austin Thomas see you on the re-org Brother ?? Shane Nadin

Lost another one of my 1wg brothers today Austin Thomas we was always having quality banter on here only a week ago you was calling me southern fairy and I’d call you a northern hick ? gutted to hear that news tonight mate. Goes to prove once again you need to live everyday to the fullest 28 is so young …all my thoughts go to his family and his little boy in particular .,.rest in peace brother see you in the re-org ???. #cymruambyth #welshguards ? Tom Campbell

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