A ‘happy chappy’ demolition worker was crushed to death in front of his brother when a concrete pillar fell on him at work, an inquest heard.

Laurence Crossan, 25, suffered fatal injuries after straying into the hazardous 'drop zone' of the demolition site at 811 High Road in Tottenham on October 29, 2012.

A jury at North London Coroner’s Court heard this morning how Mr Crossan suffered blunt force trauma to his head and chest and died at the Royal London Hospital less than two days later.

He and his brother Stephen had been working for demolition firm Prodem, taking down two derelict factories off the busy high street when the incident occurred.

The pair were among three workers on site at the time and were on their last job of the day when Mr Crossan, who lived in Clapham, was fatally injured at 3.30pm.

Giving evidence to the court this morning, Stephen Crossan explained that his brother was working on the ground, sorting the broken materials, while he sat in a “muncher” machine breaking up the first floor of the building.

His colleague Donald Anderson was on the other side of the building in a similar machine and had called out to warn of the falling debris shortly before it came down.

Mr Crossan said: “Laurence came up to my cab and said ‘I’ve got to move, it’s coming down’. I switched my machine off, turned around to get my cigarettes and when I looked back Laurence was on the other side of my cab in the drop zone.

“As I went to shout to him, it all came down on him and dust went up in the air. It happened so quickly.”

Legal representatives for Prodem, the Health and Safety Executive, Mr Anderson and the family of Mr Crossan were all present at the packed hearing in Barnet this morning.

Robert Lazarus, for Mr Anderson, cross-examining Mr Crossan said: “It (the drop zone) was a place he never ever should have been and as far as you’re aware he knew that. It was a drop zone – no-one goes in there. It wasn’t part of his work area at all.”

Mr Crossan agreed. 

The inquest continues.