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

<span>Photograph: Ming Yeung/Getty Images</span>
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.

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 trapped man 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 at the junction of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road close to Leicester Square.

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

A London fire brigade spokesperson said: “Firefighters were called to a person trapped on Charing Cross Road in central London. A man was trapped below street level underneath a hydraulic urinal. Firefighters worked with partner agencies and used a winch to free him.

“He was left in the care of London ambulance service and was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. The brigade was called at 1.05pm and the incident was over by 3.41pm. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Soho, Euston and Dowgate fire stations were at the scene.”