WITNESSES have told how they heard loud cracks in a Burleigh Heads shopping precinct this morning moments before a metal awning collapsed, killing one man and injuring three women and two children.
Police later confirmed that the 54-year-old Gold Coast man was struck by the awning as it fell at 11.40am and left trapped.
"I just heard a loud cracking sound and turned around," one witness told television news crews at the site.
Bystanders stopped to try to hold up the awning while medical crews worked on the man and those injured.
A police spokeswoman said this afternoon that police believed the awning collapse was an accident, but that Workplace Health and Safety inspectors would examine the site.
"The awning has just fallen straight down," the police spokeswoman said.
The shop is believed to be over 30 years old and it is unknown whether there have recently been renovations to either the building or the awning.