Mystery surrounds the death of six-year-old boy thought to have died from suspected slurry fume accident on farm

 

A six-year-old boy who died in a farm accident in Northern Ireland has been named as Harry Starrett.

Ambulance personnel were called to the farm at the Ballynahonemore Road in Hamiltonsbawn shortly after 5pm yesterday and a boy was rushed to Craigavon Area Hospital.

It was believed the youngster was overcome by slurry fumes in the milking parlour at his grandfather's farm in Co Armagh.

However, while investigators from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are examining whether he was overcome by slurry fumes from a tank adjacent to the parlour, it is understood initial tests at the scene in the wake of the incident did not detect high levels of toxic gases.

A post-mortem is being carried out on Wednesday in a bid to confirm the cause.

The Lord Mayor of Armagh, Robert Turner, expressed his shock over the incident, describing it as another farm tragedy.

"The entire area is in a state of shock that a six-year-old boy has lost his life", he said.

"I know his family and I wish to pass on my sincere condolences."

Armagh district councillor Jim Speers said the incident was an "absolute tragedy".

"I know the family well, I know the parents and grandparents on both sides. It's just so sad," he said.

"What can you say? It's such a tragedy for any family to experience."

Harry Sinclair, President of the Ulster Farmers' Union, said the entire farming community was in a state of shock.

He said: "Our thoughts go to that family and the whole agriculture community will be thinking of that family."

Ulster Unionist agriculture spokeswoman Jo-Anne Dobson MLA said the death was deeply saddening.

She said: "Incidents such as this stand as a stark reminder of just how dangerous farming can be. This is a busier than usual time of year on our farms and as the activity rises, so too do the risks.

"For children farms can be full of adventure and fun. However, we must always be mindful of the risks, especially as the hot weather is forecast to return in the coming days."

12 people died last year as a result of farm-related accidents in Northern Ireland.

They included three members of the Spence family, who were killed n a slurry tank accident in September.

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Advisor - Opportunities Available Nationwide

£15000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to ...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Special Needs Support Worker

£12 - £14 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are looking for someone to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Content Assistant / Copywriter

£15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence