Author: Georgia Diebelius
The 23-year-old man from the Sudan fled the car wash onto a neighbouring factory roof when over a dozen Home Office immigration officers piled out of two vans. But horrified customers heard a ‘huge bang’ – and saw the young worker fall to his death at the car wash in Newport, South Wales.
Eyewitness Lyn Saunders, 70, said the officers ‘went white’ as they performed CPR in a desperate attempt to save him. Lyn, who was waiting to get his car washed, said: ‘It was a bit like a Carry-On film.
Eyewitness Lyn Saunders, 70, said the officers ‘went white’ as they performed CPR in a desperate attempt to save him.
‘There were about half a dozen of us sitting in the cafe next to the car wash waiting for our cars to be done.
‘The workers just scattered. It was a bit of a shock to say the least. One of the workers managed to get up onto the roof, and the next thing you heard was a huge bang as he fell through.
‘The officers all went white. About 10 minutes later the a small ambulance arrived, and you could tell by their faces he had died.’
The Home Office immigration raid was carried out at the Shaftesbury Hand Car Wash in Newport.
Mr Saunders went back to the car wash to find out what had happened.
He said: ‘I spoke to one of the car wash workers, and he said he was the man’s brother. He told me he had died.
‘He was just going to work, and didn’t deserve to die. No one deserves that. It’s just needless, the car wash wasn’t even closed down.’
A Home Office spokesman confirmed a man had died later at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and referred the case to the Independent Office for Police Complaints.
The spokesman said: ‘During the course of the operation a 23-year-old Sudanese man fell from height and the operation was suspended.
‘Officers at the scene performed CPR until paramedics arrived. The man was transferred by ambulance to hospital, where he later died. Our thoughts are with his family.
The police watchdog has confirmed it is investigating the incident.
An IOPC spokesman said: ‘It is understood, following the arrival of the officers, a man working there climbed onto an adjacent factory roof.
‘A short while later he was found on the floor of an annex building next to the factory with critical injuries.
‘Initial accounts have been gained from the Immigration Enforcement officers who attended, and car wash staff and other witnesses are being spoken to. CCTV from the area of the factory is being recovered.’
The HM Coroner for Gwent has been informed and the man’s family in Sudan are being told.
Jonathan Green, IOPC regional director, said: ‘This was a tragic and shocking incident and my thoughts go out to the man’s family and everyone else affected.
‘We have a remit to investigate in certain circumstances where a death or serious injury occurs to a member of the public in the course of immigration enforcement staff carrying out their duties.
‘We would like to assure everyone concerned by this incident that we have begun a thorough, independent investigation into exactly what happened.’