Slurry Pit Tragedy Leads To Deaths Of Three Family Members

Rugby Star, His Father And Brother Lose Lives In Farming Incident

17.09.2012

Investigations are underway after Ulster rugby star Nevin Spence was killed in a farming accident which also claimed the lives of his father and brother.

The Health and Safety Executive in Northern Ireland are examining the circumstances of the incident which happened at the Spence family farm in County Down on Saturday night (September 15th), when Nevin, his father Noel and brother Graham were thought to have been overcome by slurry gas.

According to the organisation, no exact sequence of events has yet been confirmed but it is believed all three entered an underground slurry tank.

A book of condolence has been opened for the men, while Ulster fans have been leaving scarves and tributes at the team’s east Belfast ground.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injury at Irwin Mitchell, represents the families of victims who have lost their lives in serious accidents at work of all kinds.

He said: “Very little is still known about what happened in this awful tragedy, so it is vital that the HSENI work quickly and thoroughly to provide answers to the many questions surrounding this terrible incident.

“It also brings the issue of safety in the agricultural industry, a sector which rivals construction in terms of potential risks of serious or fatal injury, into the spotlight.

“Sadly, fatal accidents on farms are not uncommon occurrences. The HSENI’s own figures have shown that the sector accounted for half of work-related deaths in Northern Ireland between 2007 and 2011.

“This is clearly a massive worry and, for the sake of the family and community affected by this latest incident, we hope that everything possible is done to ensure that lessons can be learned which can reduce the risks faced by so many workers.”