Belfast Telegraph

Girl (8) dies and friend fighting for life after Cork farm accident

An eight-year-old girl has died and her 11-year-old friend has been left fighting for her life after a freak farm accident in Cork.

The two girls were injured on Sunday evening when they were struck by a heavy steel bucket attached to the front of a tractor which suddenly fell on them.

The accident happened shortly before 7pm.

It is understood the eight-year-old's parents had been on holiday and were due to land back in Dublin Airport last night - where they were told the devastating news by gardai.

The girl, originally from Latvia but living in Limerick, had been staying with family friends in Ballinakill near Newtownshandrom, when she lost her life.

It is believed that she was killed instantly when the bucket frontloader fell after the tractor stopped suddenly.

Her friend - an 11-year-old girl whose parents, also from Latvia, are renting the farm - was also struck by the tractor bucket and was airlifted to hospital.

Tragically, the youngest of the two was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor. She is understood to have suffered severe head and chest injuries in the accident.

Paramedics were at the scene within minutes and transferred the 11-year-old girl to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

She was this morning said to be in a critical condition with serious head injuries.

Garda sources described the incident as a tragic accident.

The scene has been preserved pending an inspection, in accordance with routine protocols, by inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

Newtownshandrum clergy visited both the scene and relatives' homes to offer support to the shocked and distraught family.

The accident occurred in one of the worst years on record in Ireland for fatal accidents involving children.

The tragic incident was the third farm accident involving young children in recent months. In August Liam Lyons (5) died when he became entangled in farm machinery in a wheat field in Ferbane, Co Offaly.

Fionn Mulhall (3) suffered crush injuries after he was trapped beside a JCB in a farmyard outside Drimoleague in west Cork on August 1.

In total, more than 20 people have died on farms this year.

Source: Irish Independent

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