Beds, Herts & Bucks

Russell Bowry death: Studio rigger's death was accident

Cardington hangars Image copyright Geograph/Peter Evans
Image caption Russell Bowry had been working for Elstree Light and Power Broadcast and Events Limited at Cardington Hangar Studios

A film studio rigger who plunged from the roof of a temporary stage died accidentally, an inquest has found.

Russell Bowry, 52, from Lower Stondon in Bedfordshire, fell 9.5m (31ft) at the Cardington Hangar Studios, near Bedford, in March 2018.

He was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, but died three days later due to an irreversible brain injury.

Several factors contributed to the accident which led to Mr Bowry's death, a Coroner's Court jury has concluded.

Cardington Hangar Studios, which has three main stages, has played host to films including the Harry Potter franchise and The Dark Knight.

During the four-day inquest which finished last Friday, Emma Whitting, senior coroner for Bedfordshire, told the jury the father of two was working in Cardington's Hangar 2 for a company which supplies lighting and rigging to the entertainment industry.

In a statement by Jamie Lee Dawson, who was working in the hangar at the time of the accident, the jury was told: "I heard a shout and then a bang. I thought it was something someone had dropped."

He said he saw a hole in the roof and Mr Bowry lying on the floor.

"Russ was on his back motionless and looking very grey. I thought he was dead," he said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Ampthill Coroner's Court heard Mr Bowry was an experienced rigger

According to Mr Bowry's wife, Jackie, he had been a rigger for more than 15 years and had first worked at Cardington in 2007.

There were no traces of alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the fall, the jury heard.

Mr Bowry had not clipped his lanyard to a safe structure and there was no written safe system of work in operation at the film studios, the jury found as it concluded his death was accidental.

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