Checks on electricity poles after worker dies in fall near Plymouth
SAFETY checks are being carried out after an electricity engineer died when a wooden pole on which he was working collapsed.
Ryan Thomas, aged 28, was part of a team of seven working on the power line when the accident happened.
A joint investigation by the police and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now under way to determine the exact cause of his death.
It is understood the wooden pole snapped at its base while Mr Thomas was working up it.
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It is understood checks on other poles in the same area will now be carried out amid fears it had partially rotted.
Paramedics, police and firefighters were called to the scene near Cawsand.
Detectives and Scenes of Crime Officers spent several hours in the area yesterday as police cordoned off the area.
The incident happened in woodland just off Pier Lane, around a mile outside the seaside village, late on Wednesday, emergency services said.
The wooden pole was seen lying on the ground in a part of the woods situated on a steep slope. Protective plastic sheeting had been wrapped around one part, while the base appeared to remain stuck in the ground.
The pole and its base are being analysed as part of the probe.
An internal investigation has also been launched by the engineer's employer, Western Power Distribution.
A spokesperson for the company said: "We have launched an internal investigation. We are aware of the incident and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed.
"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family."
The company was on the scene yesterday.
Fellow engineers alerted the emergency services as they rushed to their colleague's aid.
Police said they would be taking full statements from the shaken workers in the coming days.
It is unclear whether Mr Thomas, from the Truro area, suffered fatal injuries as a result of his fall or whether the pole struck him.
A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out early next week by a Home Office pathologist.
The HSE said further information about the incident could not be provided as the investigation was still under way.
But an HSE spokesperson added: "We can confirm that the HSE has visited the site of the incident at Cawsand and is investigating."
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said 'At this time there do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Thomas.
"The role of the Police is to conduct a joint enquiry with the Health and Safety Executive and compile a report for the Coroner in an expeditious manner."