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Fellow, 27, dies in trench tragedy

Scene of the tragedy in Stroud, Gloucs.

A fellow of the Geological Society has been killed in a mudslide brought on by the torrential rain of the past few weeks writes Sarah Day.

Geoscientist Online 17 September 2008

Twenty-seven year old soil engineer Alex Wright, a graduate of Imperial College London, was working in a trench in Stroud, Gloucestershire, when it collapsed, burying him in a torrent of rain soaked earth.

Alex was declared dead at the scene, a building site where it is believed he was inspecting a trench dug to lay gas pipes into a building development. The tragedy occurred at 5pm on Friday 5 September, but conditions were so dangerous rescue workers were unable to recover his body until two days later.

Alex worked for Cotswold Geotech Ltd., which provides technical support to the oil and gas industries. In a statement, his employers said: ‘Alex was a committed, enthusiastic and experienced engineering geologist who always took the greatest pleasure from his work…This small company is a very close-knit unit, and each and every one of us is devastated by his tragic death’.

Alex was a Candidate Fellow until September this year, and had only lately upgraded to full Fellowship. He was also a popular Scout leader at his home village of Charlton Kings, where he lived with his family.

Gloucestershire police and the Health and Safety Executive have begun a full, joint investigation. 

Read Alex Wright's Society obituary