News State QLD News Family of man crushed to death on worksite demand answers

Family of man crushed to death on worksite demand answers

Ashley Morris's father Keith and sister Maleah are devastated. Photo: ABC News
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Family members of one of the two men killed in the collapse of a concrete slab at a Brisbane construction site say they are desperate for answers, adding they first heard about the accident through a TV report.

Ashley Morris, 34, and a 55-year-old man died instantly when the nine-tonne slab fell into a pit they were standing in at the Eagle Farm site in Brisbane’s east on Thursday afternoon.

Ashley’s father Keith Morris said they have been told some details, but not enough.

“We want to know how it happened and why it happened,” he said.

Ashley, from Holland Park, had been working at the site for more than six months and was described by his family as a hard worker who loved his job and knew the site well.

His partner and four-year-year-old child have been told what happened, but the couple also have a toddler who is yet to grasp the tragedy.

“He will be asking where’s dad, where’s dad all the time, so eventually it will sink in.”

Family learned of accident through TV report

Mr Morris heard about the accident on the television and when he rang Ashley’s phone it did not answer.

He then rang his partner’s family home. The police were already there and the Morris family went there immediately.

Later, once the gravity of the situation was known, the Morris family rang police at midnight, asking to see Ashley’s body.

The pit where the men were standing when the slabs fell. Photo: ABC News.
The pit where the men were standing when the slabs fell. Photo: ABC News.

His sister Maleah said they were told it was still at the construction site.

She said she was disappointed by the lack of communication between authorities and the family.

“How can someone go to work and get a nine tonne slab dropped on his head?”

“How can you wake up in the morning and this happens?

“They got the best man down there to do it, and the best man is gone.

“There’s another man’s family who is suffering as much as us.

“We want answers.

“We’re not going to let this go.

“My brother is gone, my niece and nephew are left without a father, my dad has to bury a child — his son — it’s not fair.”

The men were working on a $25 million development of 400 infield stables at the Eagle Farm Racecourse.

Saddest day in 150 years

The Brisbane Racing Club said work had stopped and workers were offered counselling.

Chairman Neville Bell said Ashley and the 55-year-old man were not BRC staff, but worked for a site contractor.

“The nature of racing means that Eagle Farm has seen emotions of all types during the many years that racing has been held here,” he said.

“Yesterday marks one of the saddest days in those 150-plus years.

“The BRC will decide on an appropriate way to recognise these men.”


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