Ikea death caused by descending lift, inquest hears

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A mechanic who had been subcontracted by a lift maintenance firm to repair equipment at an Ikea branch was killed when he was trapped by a descending lift, an inquest has heard.

Joaquin Fernandez had been carrying out electrical work at Ikea’s Reading branch in 2016 after his company had been subcontracted by MP Lifts.

A jury at Reading Coroner’s Court was shown CCTV footage of the lift descending above Mr Fernandez’s head while he was working in a shaft.

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Reports state that a post-mortem examination found he died of traumatic asphyxiation.

A colleague working on the lift with Mr Fernandez told the court he was picking up tools to disable the lift when he heard what he believes to be the doors closing.

Manuel de Sola said he did not hear the lift descend because it was hydraulic but realised Mr Fernandez had become trapped when he heard a “shout”.

The court heard how Mr de Sola “tried desperately to help his friend” and tried to move the lift by manipulating an engine control box.

The CCTV footage showed Mr Fernandez working on the lift with his head and shoulders outside of the open doors and reportedly made no sudden movements as the lift moved down above his head.

According to a BBC report, representatives from MP Lifts pressed Mr de Sola on whether both he and Mr Fernandez were trained in how to operate a lift safely.

Tags : ikealift
Joe Peskett

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