Team GB Olympian Emily Borthwick reveals her ‘beautiful’ brother, 22, was killed after getting trapped in ‘industrial machinery’ at business park where he worked in Blackburn
A Team GB olympian said she is ‘absolutely heartbroken’ after her 22-year-old brother died when he was trapped in industrial machinery.
High-jumper Emily Borthwick, 24, said she was devastated to share the news that her ‘beautiful baby brother’ Connor died last Thursday.
Three fire engines and paramedics rushed to an industrial site in Blackburn, Lancashire, at 2.47pm last Thursday after reports of an accident.
Firefighters from spent around two and a half hours trying to free Mr Borthwick, who was a maintenacnce engineer.
Emergency workers also used a high-pressure airbag to try to save Mr Borthwick.
Connor Borthwick, 22, (right) died after becoming trapped in industrial machinery in Blackburn. He was the younger brother of Team GB high jumper and Olympian Emily Borthwick, 24 (left)
Emily said she was ‘absolutely devastated’ that her ‘beautiful baby brother’, who was a former RAF aircraft technician, had died in the accident
Emily Borthwick represented Team GB in the high jump at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year
Mr Borthwick, who was from Wigan, Greater Manchester, and a former RAF aircraft technician, later died of his injuries.
Writing on Twitter, Ms Borthwick, who represented Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics, said: ‘Me and my family are absolutely heartbroken to share the news that my beautiful baby brother died last week.’
Connor’s family said he ‘enriched’ their lives ‘beyond measure’.
It said: ‘Our son and brother, Connor, was a light that shone brightly, if only for 22 years.
‘His boundless energy and generous spirit enriched the lives of whoever he met. He loved his friends and family.
The Borthwick family paid tribute to Connor’s ‘boundless energy and generous spirit’
Connor and Emily were just two years apart in age. The family said it was’ overwhelmed by the love and support’ they received after Connor’s death
‘We have been overwhelmed by the love and support we have received since his death.
‘It is a real testament to the way he touched so many people’s lives in a positive way and enriched ours beyond measure.
‘We will miss him so much.’
Ms Borthwick’s athletics coach, Trevor Painter, also paid tribute to ‘strength’ of the grieving family.
He said he was ‘so proud of the Borthwick family and their strength in this darkest of hours’.
Emily Borthwick of Great Britain reacts after a clearance in the Women’s High Jump qualifying round during the second session on day one of the European Indoor Athletics Championships at Arena Torun in Torun, Poland
He added: ‘Loved when he dropped in on our sessions a few years ago as he always had a cheeky story and a glint in his eye.
‘RIP Connor, your light will never be forgotten.’
Police also attended the scene and launched a joint investigation into the incident with the health and safety executive.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: ‘We were called by the ambulance service at shortly before 3pm to a report of an industrial accident on business premises on Bruce Street, in Blackburn, where a man in his 20s had suffered serious injuries.
‘Sadly, those injuries proved fatal.
‘Our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends at this time.
‘We are in the early stages of a joint investigation into the circumstances with our colleagues from the Health and Safety Executive and those enquiries are ongoing.’
Connor’s family set up a fundraising page, with proceeds going to two charities.
They said: ‘We would like to honour his memory by raising money for two causes that were close to his heart.
‘His grandad, Derek, died in 2017 from Alzheimer’s and his uncle, Jamie, who had Down’s syndrome died in 2015.’