Jonnie Hartshorn: Collapsed Curtin Uni roof reassembled for probe into death


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A major investigation is taking place into how a roof collapsed at a university in WA, killing an apprentice tradie who plunged more than 20m.

The roof that partially collapsed at Curtin University, killing an apprentice tradie and injuring two other men, has been reassembled in a bid to determine what caused the structure to fail.

Jonnie Hartshorn, 23, plunged more than 20 metres through a glass roof at the university in October.

Rikki Issitt, 26, was on the canopy with Mr Hartshorn and suffered serious injuries, while a 27-year-old man, who was working on a lower level and fell 10 metres, was also hurt.

The reassembled roof is being examined by WorkSafe investigators in Welshpool in an attempt to discover the cause of the incident and to try to prevent a similar tragedy happening in the future.

Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said he was sorry he could not “bring back a lost loved one”.

But he said WorkSafe, which had recently hired 21 new investigators as part of a $12.9 million government investment, were working to determine why the roof collapsed.

“People can be confident that WorkSafe has all the resources it needs to complete this investigation thoroughly so that we can clearly understand what was the cause of the tragedy, who’s accountable for the tragedy and make sure these things don’t occur again,” he told reporters.

Mr Johnston said it was not possible for him to say at this stage whether charges would be laid.

Commissioner Darren Kavanagh indicated the investigation would take some time.

“This incident shocked the industry and obviously has a devastating effect to families,” he said.

“What WorkSafe have done here is proportionate and appropriate to the level of this incident.”


The Indian Telegraph
Established in 2007, The Indian Telegraph is a multi award winning digital media company based in Australia.

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