British police say five men have been killed in an accident at a scrap metal recycling plant in central England.

West Midlands Police say officers were called by the ambulance service Thursday morning to reports of a wall collapse at Hawkeswood Metal in the Nechells area of Birmingham. The force said five men were pronounced dead at the scene and a sixth was taken to a local hospital with leg injuries.

Detective Superintendent Mark Payne said "we are still in the very early stages of this investigation," and health and safety officials are assisting police.

The company was fined in 2012 after an accident in which a worker's arm was trapped in machinery.