Belfast Telegraph

Lifelong friends die as tyre explodes in Donegal farmyard

By Greg Harkin

Two lifelong friends have died after a tyre they were fixing on a tractor exploded.

Seamus Hegarty (52) and Kevin Woods, also 52, had been working in potato fields near Crossroads in east Donegal when the accident happened at 6pm last night.

Mr Woods had rented land in the area close to Red Hughs GAA club and Mr Hegarty had been helping him.

They were blowing up a tyre in a farmyard when it exploded.

Ambulance crews rushed to the scene but it's understood both men died instantly.

Mr Hegarty was a married father of four children, aged between seven and 18. Mr Woods was a single man.

Gardai sealed off the scene last night and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have been informed.

Officials from the organisation are expected to arrive at the scene later today.

Mr Hegarty was a brother of former Derry City player and ex-Finn Harps manager Paul Hegarty.

He was at the garda cordon close to the scene last night as investigations into the deaths continued.

Cllr Frank McBrearty, who knew both men, said the whole of Donegal was in deep shock.

"They were two solid, hard-working and honest men," he said.

"The whole community right across the county will be in mourning because both men were so well known and liked."

Mr Hegarty was from Argery, Cloughfinn. Mr Woods was from Crossroads.

The two men had only started working on the land on Thursday.

The men had gone to school together.

Garda forensic officers arrived at the scene shortly after 9pm.

An official from the HSA arrived shortly afterwards.

Local people carried mugs of tea to distraught relatives at the cordon.

"It's hard to take this all in," said one neighbour. "They were two best friends who went through life together.

"It's just devastating for both families."

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