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The Guardian

Man dies after being crushed while working on open-air urinal in London

By Geneva Abdul,

Cambridge Circus in London’s theatre district. Photograph: Ming Yeung/Getty Images

A man has been killed after being crushed below street level in the heart of central London’s theatre district while working on a telescopic urinal.

The emergency services were called to the scene in Cambridge Circus just after 1pm and a rescue operation was mounted.

However, in a statement on Twitter, the Metropolitan Police said: “We’re sorry to have to update that, despite the efforts of emergency services, the man who was critically injured in Cambridge Circus was pronounced dead at the scene.

“His next of kin have been informed. Cordons remain in place at the location.”

An ambulance crew, members of the hazardous area response team and a tactical response unit were dispatched in addition to London’s air ambulance. The man was trapped but was freed using a winch after nearly two hours.

A spokesperson for the London ambulance service said: “Sadly, despite the best efforts of our crews, a man was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Earlier a Met spokesperson said the man was thought to have sustained crush injuries while working on a telescopic urinal. The incident occurred on Shaftesbury Avenue close to Leicester Square.

Telescopic urinals, or open-air public urinals, have been rising out of London streets for more than a decade .

A fire brigade spokesperson said: “The brigade was called at 1305 and the incident was over by 1541. Four fire engines and about 25 firefighters from Soho, Euston and Dowgate fire stations were at the scene.”

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