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A CONSTRUCTION worker fell to his death working on a football stadium set to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Zachary Cox, 40, from Hove, was working at height on a suspended catwalk platform at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
A hoist failed and the platform dropped from beneath him. Mr Cox’s safety harness broke during the fall, causing him to plunge to his death.
An inquest was opened into his death in Brighton yesterday but had to be adjourned. However, senior coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley slammed the Qatari authorities for their lack of cooperation in giving her access to information to determine how he died.
She told the Brighton and Hove Coroner’s Court: “Having adjourned the inquest once from the first pre-inquest review, we are 10 months on from his death and despite a lot of enquiries taking place, I have not got any further information from Qatar itself.
“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not been able to provide us with any information either. I haven’t been able to get the postmortem examination, which doesn’t matter as I have my own, but it indicates I do not have the information…but I still have to hold the inquest.”
Mrs Hamilton-Deeley reminded Mr Cox’s family she did not have the power to force foreign nationals to give evidence at the inquest or force the Qatari authorities to supply her with information.
She said she was aware of reports of criminal proceedings in Qatar relating to the death but had no information on it. Mr Cox, who lived in New Zealand before he came to the UK, lived in Denmark Villas, Hove, before travelling to Qatar on a visitor’s visa. The technician had been working for around 18 months on the Khalifa International Stadium as part of team installing catwalks in the stadium for cameras, lighting and sound, before he died on January 19 this year.
A statement at the time of his death from Midmac-Six Construct, said: “For unknown reasons one of the lever hoists supporting the platform failed, causing the fall of the worker, who was wearing all his safety equipment, including the safety harness. Sadly, the harness was cut during the fall with a fatal outcome. What caused the cut is subject to further investigation.”
Mr Cox’s family asked the coroner to adjourn the inquest as they have been promised a 54-page report, which they said would shed light on his death and help the coroner with her decision.
Sister-in-law Ella Joseph said: “We think there is a strong case not to conclude the inquest today, as we strongly believe our evidence will shed light on the the question of how he died. Until then we think it would be wrong to prejudge that question.”
The inquest had been adjourned until February.
Source: The Argus