AN engineer was crushed to death by a lift shaft at a newly-opened Ikea store after desperately trying to claw his way out, an inquest heard.
Joaquin Fernandez’s body was found by a forklift truck driver who saw the top half of a man trying to get out.
INS News Joaquin Fernandez was killed after working on a lift at a newly-opened Ikea store
The Spanish 41-year-old had been working on the lift at the Reading store when it began to move upwards.
Mr Fernandez jumped down into the service pit, but the lift started to travel downwards towards him.
He was seen on CCTV trying desperately to climb out of the shaft but the lift fell on him.
Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford heard how Mr Fernandez was “effectively crushed to death” after a safety key on the roof of the lift compartment had not been turned, allowing the lift to drop.
The inquest in Reading, Berks., heard he and a colleague were flown to the UK to carry out repairs on the lift when a failure in the safety systems caused it to drop suddenly in the early hours of October 18, 2016.
IKEA worker, Mateusz Buczel, told the jury: “I was driving the forklift around the ground floor of the store around 2.28am when I went past one of the lifts.