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Striker's cousin in sewer tragedy

Published 11/06/2015

Republic of Ireland footballer Robbie Keane's cousin has been killed working in a sewer in Dublin
Republic of Ireland footballer Robbie Keane's cousin has been killed working in a sewer in Dublin

Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane's cousin was killed working in a sewer yesterday.

Alan Harris, a father of two, was overcome by fumes, believed to be methane gas, when he began inspecting underground pipes in a housing estate in the Portmarnock area of north Dublin.

His brother Stephen was on the job with him and was knocked unconscious by the noxious gases but was rescued by fire crews.

He was said to be in a serious condition in Beaumont Hospital in north Dublin.

Keane has not spoken about the tragedy and he trained with the Republic squad today in Malahide, a few miles from the scene, but the Football Association of Ireland confirmed the family link.

Mr Harris was in his 40s and owner of DrainTech, a company specialising in drainage clearance and pipe and sewer unblocking in the Dublin region for about 20 years.

The accident happened yesterday afternoon in the Drumnigh Woods estate in Portmarnock when the brothers began to assess work on pipes under the road, some of which were reported to be 20 feet below the surface.

Two investigations are ongoing into the death, one by the garda and the other by the Health and Safety Authority.

Questions centre on whether the men were overcome by methane gas in a confined space as they began initial assessments of the work to be done on the sewers.

The inquiries will also look into what breathing apparatus was available to the men.

The Republic's assistant manager, Roy Keane, credited the LA Galaxy striker for his attitude on the training pitch following the sad news.

Robbie Keane, 34, is expected to play a part in Saturday's Euro 2016 battle with Scotland in Dublin.

Assistant manager Keane said: "I don't really know the ins and outs. But he has trained today, being the professional he is, as you would expect, and as far as he's concerned he's focusing on the game."

Robbie Keane has 65 goals to his name in 139 senior appearances for his country, has played just 169 minutes of football for LA Galaxy since the beginning of April because of a groin injury.

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