Perth Australia Irish builders killed
2 builders from Northern Ireland died in an accident at a building site in Perth, Australia. google maps

Two builders in their early twenties from Northern Ireland have died in a horrific accident at a building site in Perth, Western Australia. The two men - named locally as Joe McDermott from Omagh, Co Tyrone and Gerry Bradley from Coleraine, Co Derry - were working on a site in the city centre. One of the men was days away from returning home for Christmas.

Eye-witnesses said the two men were helping to unload a truck when a large concrete slab fell on them, crushing them both underneath. One witness, Travis, told ABC: "All I was thinking of was to just get the slab off him, so a whole bunch of workers jumped on one side of the slab, because it was sort of sitting on another slab, like a concrete barrier. A whole bunch of guys jumped on that side while a few of us lifted the other side ... so it was a couple of inches off them."

Police, St John's Ambulance and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services all attended the incident and the area was cordoned off. An investigation into the deaths will now take place. The two men were working for Jaxon construction when the accident occurred - the first fatalities in the company's 57-year history. All Jaxon sites will remain closed for a day as a mark of respect.

In a statement Jaxon said: ""Our workforce is grieving and our focus is on supporting the families and those affected. The accident is subject to an ongoing investigation by the relevant authorities and it would be premature to speculate or pre-empt the findings of the investigations. We are cooperating fully with the coroner's office and Worksafe and will make further announcements as and when additional information becomes available."

Sinn Fein councillor Sorcha McAnespie who knew McDermott told the BBC: "He hasn't been in Australia for long - it was only a month ago when he left. Whatever help we as a community can do, we will - that's what we do best."