Two Sligo men electrocuted at building site

 

Gardai manning a checkpoint yards from where two men were electrocuted at a building site in Co Sligo tried desperately to resuscitate them within minutes of the accident.

The two local men, Mr Sean Flannery (29) and Mr Mark Hannon (18), were working on a housing development in Gurteen, in south Sligo, at around 3 a.m. yesterday when the accident occurred. One of the men went to adjust an electric lamp positioned on a tripod when he fell. The other went to his assistance and was also electrocuted. A third man received an electric shock and gardai believe he was saved only because he was wearing rubber Wellington boots.

The two men lived within three miles of each other and friends and neighbours said the small community was numbed by the tragedy.

Garda Supt John Leahy said gardai had a checkpoint close to the site when the accident happened. "They were there within a minute and tried to resuscitate the two men but there was nothing they could do." Special equipment would have been needed to revive the men and by the time an ambulance arrived it was too late.

The Health and Safety Authority is investigating the incident and an inspector visited the site yesterday morning. ESB personnel were also on the scene.

Mr Hannon was from Kilfree, outside Gurteen. On leaving school he had started to work for Mr Flannery, a building contractor from the neighbouring village of Monasteraden.

The local parish priest, Father John Doherty, said both young men were very well known in the area. "As well as working together they were very friendly, and while they were hard workers, they also had great fun together."

It is believed they were laying the foundations of the housing development yesterday and were working into the early hours to finish the job of levelling the floors to complete that stage of the work.

Supt Leahy said the Garda would be working with the Health and Safety Authority on the investigation. "This is an awful, tragic accident to happen at this time of the year and it is very difficult for the families," he said.

The funerals of both men will take place tomorrow in the neighbouring parishes. They will be held at different times to allow people to attend both.