The foreman on a demolition site where a young worker was crushed to death frantically tried to save his colleague after the accident, an inquest has heard.

Laurence Crossan suffered fatal head and chest injuries after a four-metre concrete pillar fell on him during the demolition of two warehouses in High Road, Tottenham, on October 29, 2012.

The 25-year-old had been sorting the rubble on the floor alongside his brother, who was working in heavy machinery to shift the debris.

The site foreman Donald Anderson, who was breaking up the first floor of the other side of the building, called round to the pair before the fatal incident.

Describing the events to a jury at North London Coroner’s Court this afternoon, he said: “I was about to pull the column out and I could see it would come down so I shouted to Laurence to stay where he was as it was coming down.

“Then I moved back to pull it and it all came down. The next thing I saw was Stephen (his brother) waving his arms.

“I ran over and could see Laurence under the pillar, so I shouted to Stephen to call an ambulance and jumped in his machine to pull the pillar off of Stephen.”

Mr Crossan was treated at the scene and rushed to the Royal London Hospital but died less than two days later from his injuries.

Brian Cummins, representing Mr Crossan’s family at the inquest questioned Mr Anderson  over whether an additional worker should have been on site to oversee the demolition, but he was told no.

Mr Anderson, who has worked in the demolition industry for 43 years, also denied there was any need for additional machines to break up the concrete building more safely.

The inquest continues tomorrow morning.