Belfast Telegraph

Tragedy as man dies at mushroom plant while saving brother

By Catherine Devine

A man who died in a workplace accident at a mushroom plant in the Republic heroically saved his own brother moments beforehand.

Gary Askin, who was aged in his 20s, died at a mushroom growing house in Emyvale, Co Monaghan, where he was working alongside his brother Stephen and a third worker shortly after 8pm on Wednesday.

It is understood that Stephen became trapped in an overhead industrial bin and his brother Gary tried to save him.

Emergency services arrived on the scene at the McGee Mushrooms plant in Cornacrieve to find the three men unconscious.

Gary was pronounced dead at the scene while the other two men were rushed to Cavan General Hospital. They are expected to recover from the ordeal.

Sinn Fein councillor Brian McKenna said: "It's very sad. Stephen became trapped in the bin and Gary rang straightaway for an ambulance.

"He managed to get his brother out but then Gary became trapped.

"Stephen was already injured from the toxic fumes and wasn't able to help Gary. The ambulance arrived after anything could be done to help Gary.

"It's very tragic. Gary died after saving his brother's life."

Mr McKenna said Stephen "will be fine".

"Another foreign national worker was there too and he is also okay," he said.

"It's an awful tragedy. Gary was very well known and he was a lovely man. He had been working in the mushroom plant since he left school. It's so tragic."

Separate investigations have been launched into the incident by the gardai and the Health and Safety Authority. A post-mortem is due to take place to confirm the exact cause of death.

St Macartan's College, where both Gary and Stephen attended school, described Gary as "a very quiet, well mannered and an extremely co-operative student".

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