Man dies in mushroom plant after saving his ‘trapped’ brother

Gary Askin was overcome by toxic fumes at Monaghan factory

Gary Askin and two other men were found unconscious with two other workers in the mushroom factory.

Gary Askin and two other men were found unconscious with two other workers in the mushroom factory.

 

A man in his 20s who died after an accident at a mushroom plant outside Emyvale, Co Monaghan, on Wednesday night has been named as Gary Askin, a single man who lived locally.

Mr Askin was found unconscious with two other workers by gardaí and emergency services at about 8pm at the facility run by Cornacrieve Mushrooms Limited.

The men were working in a wood chip silo when they are believed to have been overcome by toxic fumes. It is understood he died after saving his brother, Stephen.

Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have launched separate investigations at the farm. A post mortem was carried out on Thursday at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan, Co Meath to determine the cause of the death.

The HSA confirmed the “three men were overcome having entered a wood chip silo at their place of work”. The two other men, including a foreign national, have been released from hospital, a spokesman said.

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Brian McKenna said Stephen Askin became trapped in an overhead industrial bin and his brother Gary tried to save him.

“It’s very sad. Stephen became trapped in the bin and Gary rang straight away for an ambulance. He managed to get his brother Stephen out but then Gary became trapped.

“Stephen was already injured from the toxic fumes and wasn’t able to help Gary. The ambulance arrived after anything could be done to help Gary. It’s very tragic. Gary died after saving his brother’s life.”

He added that he was familiar with the factory, which was “a first class facility, and always well run”.

The scene was secured by Garda until arrival of a HSA inspector Thursday.

In August 2005, a 14-year-old Lithuanian schoolboy, who came to Ireland to visit his mother, died as a result of hydrogen sulphide poisoning while helping a man who was moving mushroom waste from his farm in Drumcondra near Swanlinbar, Co Cavan.

Three workers died at a mushroom farm in Langley, British Colombia, in Canada in September 2008 they were attempting to clear a clogged water pipe and a mix of toxic gasses leaked into the small shed they were in.