The man who died in the Curtin University building collapse on Tuesday has been identified as a 23-year-old apprentice working at the construction site.
The apprentice was up on scaffolding on the fifth floor when the building’s glass ceiling collapsed at around 12:30 PM, Western Australian time. He fell over 20 metres to the ground.
“The men were standing on top of the structure when it suddenly gave way without warning,” WA Police Commander Mike Bell told reporters.
“He was unfortunately deceased once he fell.”
#DEVELOPING: It’s understood a glass ceiling has collapsed at a construction site at Curtin University’s Bentley campus. One person is dead, and at least one other person is injured.
— 9News Perth (@9NewsPerth) October 13, 2020
Bell added that the cause of the collapse is yet to be determined. However, WorkSafe has already been called in to investigate.
Currently, emergency services are trying to secure the site in order to retrieve the worker’s remains.
“Police and emergency crews are working […] to make the site safe, at which point we can remove the body of the deceased and we can commence our investigation proper,” Bell added.
“We do know where the deceased is.”
Two other workers on the construction site, both in their 20s, were rushed to Royal Perth Hospital with serious injuries.
One of them is in a critical condition, while the other man is stable.
One witness told the NCA NewsWire they saw the men fall into a “big mess of steel and glass”.
Another said they saw glass “flying everywhere”.
No university students or staff were injured in the building collapse, Curtin Uni said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with all impacted by this accident,” the statement continued.
There has been an accident on our Perth campus this afternoon. Our thoughts are with all impacted. pic.twitter.com/DwlwHvi1F2
— Curtin University (@CurtinUni) October 13, 2020
Now, people want answers as to how such a tragedy could happen in the first place.
CFMEU state secretary Mick Buchan said the union was determined to find the cause of the accident.
“It’s 2020, these events should not occur in the building and construction industry,” he added.
Meanwhile, Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan also passed on his thoughts to everyone involved in the “terrible tragedy”.