A university student has said he is "lucky to be alive" after 500kg of metal fell off of a forklift truck and onto him.
Andrew Fadel, 26, had been working as a lorry driver to pay his fees when metal railway parts fell onto his leg while the haul was being unloaded.
The student, from London, believes his life was saved because he was hit in the head by a piece of metal when the forklift came past him, knocking him to the ground.
Seconds after falling to the ground, the 500kg worth of metal crashed onto him, crushing his leg and narrowly missing the rest of his body.
He says that coming to terms with the horrifyingly close brush with death left him suicidal as he cannot get a job and was confined to a wheelchair for several months.
Andrew is now taking legal action against the company for personal injury through London law firm Osbornes Law.
He said: "The forklift came past me and a piece of metal at the top of the pallet hit me on the head causing me to fall over in what felt like in slow motion. At that moment the load of metal fell from the truck and onto my left leg.
"The pain was intense, and I was struggling to breathe as I had broken several of my ribs, but if I hadn’t fallen over the load would have fallen on my head and I would probably be dead. I am lucky to be alive."
The student, who had been working at Mitchells of Mansfield, was rushed to hospital where he spent a month recovering from the ordeal, where he had a metal plate and pins put in his leg and has been in a wheelchair ever since the accident.
An investigation by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident issued Mitchells with a notice stating they had: "…failed to ensure the safety of your employees, during loading and unloading activities, and those not in your employment, during loading and unloading activities…"
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Andrew said: "Over the past few months I have felt suicidal at times. I have nightmares and flashbacks about the incident and feel like I have had a mental breakdown. I find it really hard to comprehend that Mitchells are still denying that this was their fault. It has made it even more difficult to cope with.”
Sam Collard, partner at Osbornes Law, who represents Andrew in this case, said: "It is incredible that the defendant in this case has continued to deny liability despite the findings of the HSE. My client is desperate to get the rehabilitation he needs and move on with his life but needs to get compensation to fund this."
Daily Star reached out to Mitchells of Mansfield for comment.
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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