27 April 2017

Helicopter crash devastates the pest control industry

Reports have confirmed Matthew Wood, a Rentokil employee from Sutton was sadly killed in the helicopter crash in Vauxhall, London, while he made his way to work. A statement from Rentokil CEO, Alan Brown said "we can confirm that our Rentokil Initial colleague, Matt Wood, was fatally injured in the helicopter crash as he was walking to our office in Vauxhall.

Matt was 39 years old and had worked for Rentokil as an administrative team leader since 2003. Alan Brown added "Matt was well known to all of us who visit the Vauxhall office, including myself. He was in every respect a warm and generous man and a cornerstone of our team. We extend our deepest sympathy to Matt's family and to our colleagues in Vauxhall who, though safely evacuated, will be deeply affected by this tragic accident."

BPCA Chief Executive Simon Forrester said "this is a devastating blow to the pest control industry and our hearts go out to Matthews's friends and family. We're a very close-knit industry, so it's always difficult to hear that one of ours has passed on, and in such tragic circumstances."

Mr Wood's next door neighbour Yvonne Humphries, 63, said "I just can't believe it. I was listening to the news this morning and they said someone from Sutton died, I can't believe it's him. He lived on his own but he was always having friends round was just a lovely guy."

The accident is believed to be the first fatal helicopter crash in the city centre since records began in 1976, but the sight of a £4m aircraft falling out of the skies, provoked calls, backed by David Cameron, for a review of rules that allow more than 1,300 helicopter flights over central London each month.Kate Hoey, the Labour MP for the Vauxhall area, said it "would have been facing a major, major catastrophe" if the helicopter had landed on the apartments nearby.

It is still unclear as to exactly what caused the accident, but a full investigation is said to begin shortly. The Air Accident Investigation Branch said it would be "several months" before it could produce a definitive report on the cause of the tragedy. But it will focus on how a modern aircraft, fully equipped for instrument flying, collided with a 770ft-tall structure despite a 500ft exclusion zone around all buildings in the capital.

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