It is being reported that two men from Northern Ireland were killed in a workplace accident in Perth, Western Australia.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, the men were both in their 20s and were in Australia on work visas. One was from Co Tyrone and the other was from Co Derry.
Media in Australia reported the men were crushed under at least one concrete panel which fell from a truck as it was being unloaded. The incident is believed to have occurred on a construction site in East Perth at 11.30am local time (3.30am Irish time).
The site was evacuated and the street was closed to allow emergency services access to the scene.
West Australian Newspaper journalist Claire Tyrrell told RTE Radio One's Today the two men are understood to have been on a cigarette break when the incident occurred.
"It is believed the truck, because it was being unloaded, was unbalanced and as a panel was taken off one side, the panel on the other side fell off," she said.
Jaxon Construction, issued a statement offering “heartfelt thoughts and condolences” to the families, loved ones and colleagues of the men.
“We are co-operating fully with the relevant authorities and will make further announcements as additional information becomes available,” the company said. “Site works have been halted until further notice and the site is now in the hands of relevant authorities.”
The construction company, which has been in operation for over 50 years, has never experienced a fatality among its workers.
“Our workforce is grieving and our focus is on supporting the families and those affected. As a mark of respect, and to fully support our employees, all Jaxon sites will be closed tomorrow,” the company said.
A man working in the Grill and Chill restaurant across from the building described seeing the incident happen.
“We started working in the restaurant and then we heard a noise,” Vikas Verma told the West Australian newspaper.
He said he saw a large concrete panel being lifted off the side of a truck by a crane and said it appeared to unbalance the truck, which was holding four slabs on its other side.
“Two slabs fell down onto the ground,” he said. “I saw someone in fluorescent clothing underneath the slabs.”
Inspectors from the state government’s industrial safety body, WorkSafe, are reported to have begun an investigation.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said it was aware of the case and ready to provide consular assistance.