Men killed in Australia building site accident named

Distraught workmen at the site in Perth where the two Northern Ireland men were killed
Distraught workmen at the site in Perth where the two Northern Ireland men were killed

The two men killed while working on a building site in Australia have been named locally as Joseph McDermott from Omagh and Gerry Bradley from Portstewart.

The accident happened in East Perth where an apartment complex was being built, the construction company involved said.

It is believed the men were trapped under a large concrete slab which came off a lorry as a crane attempted to remove other slabs.

The building site has been closed while a health and safety investigation is carried out.

Despite moving to work in Australia, Mr Bradley had remained a member of Portstewart Golf Club. He was a previous club championship winner and had attended the Darren Clarke Golf School in 2009/2010. His brother Gregory said he was liked by everyone and the family “can’t believe what has happened”.

A friend of Mr McDermott described him as a “home bird” and a “happy-go-lucky character” who took a big step when he decided to leave Omagh.

Joe Byrne, a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) Stormont Assembly member representing West Tyrone, expressed his condolences.

“It is very sad news to hear of two construction workers from Northern Ireland being killed in Australia, a long way from home.

“I feel particularly sad that a 24-year-old man from Omagh was on a building site and was killed.

“Construction work is always dangerous, it is always more difficult for a family and community when the accident happens so far away.”

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted one witness, Travis, who said the slab appeared to have fallen off a delivery truck while it was being unloaded.

He said he tried to help lift the panel.

“All I was thinking of was to just get the slab off him, so a whole bunch of workers jumped on one side of the slab, because it was sort of sitting on another slab, like a concrete barrier.

“A whole bunch of guys jumped on that side while a few of us lifted the other side ... so it was a couple of inches off them.”

Construction firm Jaxon said its thoughts and condolences were with relatives and friends of the two dead men.

The accident happened at about at about 11.30am eastern Australian time, 3.30am GMT.