A 43-year-old rail construction worker was killed by a falling piece of concrete, it has been confirmed. The man, who has not been named, was the first fatality on the massive railway engineering project through the heart of London, said Crossrail.

The man sustained fatal head injuries while he was spraying concrete in a 10 metre-deep Crossrail tunnel in Holborn, central London.

The slab fell from the ceiling above him.

Emergency services were called to the Crossrail construction site at Fisher Street in Holborn where they found the man in cardiac arrest. The man has not been named.

A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said two ambulances, an emergency car and a hazardous area response team rushed to the scene.

She added that despite paramedics' and doctors' "extensive efforts" the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Crossrail spokesperson said: "Sadly, at approximately 5am this morning a contractor working at our site in Fisher Street, London was fatally injured. Our first and foremost thoughts are with the family and friends affected by this. The family has been informed.

"When the incident occurred, work was taking place to build a new crossover tunnel between two train tunnels that have already been constructed by Crossrail's boring machines.

"The worker was spraying concrete onto the excavated ground when a piece of concrete from the ceiling of the tunnel fell and hit him.

"Crossrail has suspended all work at Fisher Street and associated works across the project. A full and thorough investigation into this tragic incident is being undertaken. The Metropolitan Police and the Health and Safety Executive remain on site."

"Safety is our number one priority and Crossrail sets the most stringent safety requirements in the industry. Despite this terrible incident, Crossrail's accident rate is below the industry average."