ThisIsLondon site pulls crane death image

ThisIsLondon last week took down a picture after complaints that it showed the body of a man who had been killed when a crane collapsed.

Members of Lifting World, an online forum for the crane industry, responded with outrage after ThisIsLondon, the companion website to the Evening Standard and London Lite, published a photograph showing the crane operator, 37-year-old John Cloak, lying dead on top of a car.

Cloak had been thrown from the operator’s cab during the collapse of his 50-metre-tall crane onto a block of flats near Battersea power station in south London.

The picture was removed from the site last Thursday morning after being online since the previous evening.

Chris Akehurst of Sheffield-based crane rental firm HTC Plant Ltd wrote in his post to the forum: “It is not only sick, but extremely out of order and distasteful.”

“We all knew John, and couldn’t believe that a picture like that would be published,” he told Press Gazette.

Evening Standard managing editor Doug Wills said the ThisIsLondon editors had not realised that the man in the picture was dead.

“It was brought to their attention by some of the users, and as soon as it was, it was taken off the site — and we apologise if it did cause any distress,” he said.

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