Investigations into death of man working in Portmarnock sewer

Steve Harris still believed to be in a critical condition in Beaumont Hospital


The Health and Safety Authority is carrying out an investigation into an incident in Portmarnock on Wednesday after one man died and another was critically injured when they were overcome by toxic fumes while working in a sewer.

Alan Harris was working for his company Harris Draintech in the Drumnigh Wood housing estate on the outskirts of the north Dublin suburb when he and his brother Steve Harris got into difficulties on Wednesday evening.

Emergency services were called to the scene.

Mr Harris, who sources say was in his mid-40s and had two children in their 20s, was pronounced dead in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

His brother, Steve Harris, is believed to still be in a critical condition on life support in Beaumont Hospital.

Gardaí are due to prepare a file for the coroner’s court following Mr Harris’ death.

A spokesman for Dublin Fire Brigade said the workers were operating in a pit eight metres below surface level when one of them was overcome by the fumes and collapsed.

The second man lost consciousness as he attempted to resuscitate his colleague.

“The two men were at the bottom of the pit,” fire officer Gerry Stanley said.

“They were retrieved with the help of a rope system to the surface but unfortunately one passed away.”

The two men are believed to be relatives of Irish football captain Robbie Keane.

Mr Harris was the owner of Clonee-based industrial cleaning service Draintech.

“He’s a really, really good guy. It’s a very sad time. Alan was Draintech,” said a source close to the family.