Queensferry Crossing worker recalls colleague's death
Lucas Hollis, 24, says he ran to help 62-year-old John Cousin after he was hit by a crane.
A construction worker has told how he ran to help a colleague who was fatally injured while working on the Queensferry Crossing.
Lucas Holis, 24, described how he was with John Cousin on the north tower deck of the bridge when the fitter was struck by part of a crane on April 28, 2016.
A fatal accident inquiry into the death of Mr Cousin, 62, began at Stirling Sheriff Court on Monday.
Relatives of Mr Cousin, who was from Northumberland, were at the inquiry to hear evidence.
Mr Holis, a steel workers ganger from the Czech Republic, told the inquiry the crane in question had been out of use the day before the accident due to a burst hose that was leaking hydraulic oil.
The machine was placed in an exclusion zone and crane company GGR Group was contacted to fix it, he said.
On the morning of the accident, Mr Holis said he was sent to collect GGR fitter Stewart Clark by boat to bring him to the bridge and repair the machine.
The witness said Mr Clark had lowered the boom while working on the crane, causing the oil to leak "more and more," and as a result he went to fetch absorbent granules.
'I heard the noise, I heard steel on steel, when it starts scraping.Lucas Holis, witness
Mr Holis said they were joined by Mr Cousin, who he had met a few times, as the fitter came over "to have a look, probably".
He said: "Normally when something happens we help each other out, we help out to get a job done,"
The two men were "just guys talking to each other and laughing," he recalled.
He said he was spreading the absorbent granules behind the crane when "I heard the noise, I heard steel on steel, when it starts scraping".
"I heard the noise and just turned around," he added.
At the time he said Mr Clark was on the middle of the crane while Mr Cousin was somewhere at the front of the boom holding his hands up.
'I saw John Cousin lying there on the deck and I just ran to him straight away.'Lucas Holis, witness
He said: "It fell over on him. I think (Mr Clark) was still on the crane. I asked him if he's all right and he answered.
"I saw John Cousin lying there on the deck and I just ran to him straight away."
Mr Holis, a first aider, agreed the fitter had "very clear injuries" and put him in the recovery position.
He said: "I just shouted for help. I could see the blood and everything, I just shouted for help."
The crane's fly jib was on the ground but he did not see how it had become detached, he told the inquiry.
The witness said the injured man was evacuated from the bridge by boat.
The inquiry, before Sheriff William Gilchrist, was adjourned and will continue at 10am on Tuesday.
Construction of the £1.3bn new bridge across the Forth began in 2011 and it was officially opened by the Queen in September.