Twins killed as chest of drawers tumbles

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The Independent Online

A family was described as "shattered" today after a chest of drawers fell on two-year-old twins and killed both of them.

William and Betsy Woodbridge, grandchildren of millionaire waste tycoon Norman Grundon, died in a freak accident at their home in Winkfield, Berkshire, on Monday afternoon.

The pair had been having a nap in their bedroom while their mother Louise, 33, was downstairs with relatives, including her mother Frances, when the tragedy struck some time after 2pm.

The twins' father Paul, 37, was out at the time.

It is understood Mrs Woodbridge heard a thump and a member of the family went upstairs and discovered what had happened.

The twins were taken to Wexham Park Hospital in Slough - one by air ambulance and the other by land ambulance - but were pronounced dead.

Reports claimed that the children had been climbing on the drawers, which fell on top of them, but family friend Ruth Roll said today that exactly how the furniture toppled was still unclear.

"They had been having a nap," she said.

"The details of what actually happened in that bedroom I don't suppose anybody will ever know."

She added: "What we know for a fact is that they were in their own bedroom in their own house.

"They had been asleep, they woke up and a chest of drawers fell on them."

As well as being a full-time mother to her four children, Mrs Woodbridge holds a directorship in the family business, Grundon Waste Management, which is run by her 62-year-old father Norman, who appears on the Sunday Times Rich List.

Paul Woodbridge also works for the company, which is the UK's largest privately-owned waste management firm, as a contract development manager.

The couple have two other children - Ben, 10, and Lily, four.

Ms Roll said: "They are a very close family, the community in which they live is very close and everybody is completely devastated."

She added: "The family is just shattered out of all existence."

Thames Valley Police began an investigation after the incident and the coroner was informed.

But a police spokesman said last night: "We are not treating the deaths as suspicious."

A spokeswoman for the force confirmed today that an inquest was opened and adjourned yesterday into the deaths of two children under the age of five.

Grundon Waste Management was founded in 1929 by Norman Grundon's father Stephen as an aggregates supplier but its interests now range from recycling to operating quarries.

Mr Grundon's wealth has been estimated at more than £44 million.

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