Northern Ireland news

Farmer Alastair Sloss killed after falling into slurry tank in Co Tyrone

A Tyrone farmer, believed to be in his 50s, has died following a slurry related incident near Coagh on Friday evening
Gareth McKeown

A TYRONE farmer in his 50s has died following a slurry-related accident.

It is believed Alastair Sloss fell into a slurry tank at his farm near Coagh, sometime between 5pm and 6pm on Friday.

It happened just hours before the closing of the time limit for slurry spreading.

It is the second slurry related incident in the space of a week after a Fermanagh farmer was overcome with fumes whilst mixing slurry on Tuesday afternoon.

The 30-year-old from Letterbreen was taken to hospital, while five of his cows died in the incident.

DUP MLA Keith Buchanan has expressed his sympathies to the family of the Coagh man who lost his life in the accident.

"This is another tragic loss within the farming community," he said.

"It once again reminds us all of the dangers associated with slurry. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at the time of such devastating loss."

Mr Buchanan issued a warning to other farmers in the wake of the tragedy.

"I would also urge everyone working on farms to follow all recommended safety procedures, particularly when working with slurry," he added.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said:

“The Health and Safety Executive can confirm it is investigating a fatal farm accident in the Coagh area. Our deepest sympathies are with the man's family at this most difficult time.”

Meanwhile, SDLP Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone, the party's agriculture spokesperson, urged farmers across the north to exercise extreme care when working at slurry.

"The community in Coagh is in mourning today as the news of Alistair Sloss’ tragic death sinks in," he said.

"The farming community in particular are well known to each other here and they’ll be reeling from the death of a friend. Alistair was extremely well respected as a good neighbour to everyone locally.

“Farmers across the north know how dangerous working at slurry can be.

"It’s important that everyone exercises extreme care when setting about their work. The last thing our farming community needs is another tragedy.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Alistair’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

In September 2012 Ulster rugby player Nevin Spence, his brother Graham and father Noel lost their lives on the family farm after being overcome with slurry fumes.

They had initially tried to rescue their pet collie from an underground tank.

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