Builders hailed heroes after floor collapses at former Mirfield hair salon and workmate is left trapped under concrete slab

A builder had a lucky escape after a concrete floor collapsed leaving him bleeding and unconscious.

Ian Wilson, 57, of Meltham, was demolishing the floor when part of it suddenly gave way.

Ian crashed 7ft into the cellar below and a huge concrete slab landed on top of him, leaving him pinned down and gasping for breath.

His brother Andrew, 44, who was working with him, desperately tried to free him before rushing for help.

NAW 2015 - Apprentices to the rescue for DIY SOS

Tuesday 10th of March 2015

Two building apprentices from Kirklees College relished the challenge of a TV makeover when they joined the BBC’s DIY SOS crew on a local project.

​Kirklees College Apprentices with the DIY SOS team (L-R): Chris Frediani, Mark Millar, Thomas Earnshaw, Billy Byrne, Rory Gibson, Julian Perryman and Nick Knowles ​Kirklees College Apprentices with the DIY SOS team (L-R): Chris Frediani, Mark Millar, Thomas Earnshaw, Billy Byrne, Rory Gibson, Julian Perryman and Nick Knowles ​

Thomas Earnshaw and Rory Angus Gibson, along with their colleagues from Craig Miller Joinery in Huddersfield, donated their time to help adapt the home of former policeman Richard Ford, who suffered a brain stem stroke.

Thomas and Rory both study at Brunel Construction Centre – Thomas is doing Level 2 Joinery and Rory Level 3 Brickwork.

Their employer - company director Craig Miller - is a former student of Kirklees College as are colleagues Robert Spencer and Wayne Sanderson.

Craig said: “When we heard about the project we really wanted to be involved – we came up and saw how the family was living and realised how badly they needed help.

“It has been a fantastic experience for all of us but particularly for Thomas and Rory. They have really learned the value of teamwork – on something like this it doesn’t matter what your job or skill level is, everyone just does whatever is required.

“The lads were really dropped in at the deep end but they have worked very hard and really stood up to the challenge.”

Thomas, 18, from Dalton, said: “I’ve never worked on a job with so many people before. It was a great experience – it was such a fast pace and I got to learn lots of new skills.”

Rory, 22, from Paddock, said: “It was great to learn different skills and meet new people who were able to pass their experience on to us. It really helped boost my confidence and even though it was hard work, everyone had a good laugh.”

Following his stroke, doctors thought Richard wouldn’t survive and he was put in an induced coma. For nine months he suffered from Locked-In Syndrome, meaning he was aware of everything that was going on around him but could not move or communicate.

He’s no longer ‘locked in’ but Richard has extremely limited movement and speech. He is confined to an electric wheelchair and communicates via an Ipad.

The project involved converting the family home so that Richard could have some privacy – and to make it more comfortable for him, wife Judy and their three children.

The programme is expected to be aired later this year.

Community Awards

The team were nominated for the Huddersfield Examiner Community Awards 2015 and were pleased to make it to the finals. Whilst working on a project in the centre of Mirfield a concrete floor in a neighbouring property collapsed, trapping a man under a huge slab of concrete. The victims brother ran onto our site in a panic pleading for help. Without hesitation members of our team entered the building where the collapse had taken place. They jumped down into a cellar and pulled the huge concrete slab which had trapped the man crushing his chest. One of the team then ran to the local fire station to summon help whilst another collected safety helmets from our vehicles due to the danger posed by the steel beams, which some of the guys were holding to prevent them falling onto the victim. First aid was then administered to the victim whilst we awaited the emergency services which included a specialist rope rescue team from Leeds. wouldn't. The story was reported on the Huddersfield Examiners front page the following day.