Two workers found dead on Blackmoor Estate
Two farm workers have died on Blackmoor Estate.
Scott Cain (23) and Ashley Clarke (24) were found unconscious in the apple store at Lord Selborne’s estate, on Monday afternoon.
Other staff members and then paramedics tried to resuscitate them but their efforts were unsuccessful.
Nitrogen is used in the storeroom to preserve the fruit but a cause of death is unknown, the coroner’s office said.
Hampshire Police said post-mortem examinations were inconclusive and officers were awaiting the results of toxicology tests.
A spokeswoman said the bodies of Mr Cain and Mr Clarke were found in a storage area after colleagues raised the alarm when the two men did not return from their duties.
Det Ch Insp Dick Pearson said: “These deaths are being treated as unexplained and the full circumstances of this tragic work-related incident are being investigated by the police with the assistance of the Health and Safety Executive.”
Viscount Wolmer, Lord Selborne’s son and managing director of the estate, said in a statement: “Two members of staff at Blackmoor packhouse were found unconscious in an apple store on the afternoon of Monday, February 18.
“Despite the efforts of staff and the emergency services, they were subsequently found to have died.
“This is absolutely devastating news for our tight-knit community and our thoughts are with their loved ones.
“The cause of this tragic incident is being investigated and Blackmoor Estate is co-operating fully with the authorities.
“In light of that investigation it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”
Inquests into the deaths are due to be opened on Friday by the North Hampshire Coroner Andrew Bradley.
Dom Clarke, vicar at Blackmoor, said: “All of us at St Matthew’s Church are desperately saddened to hear of the tragic deaths in Blackmoor this week and are holding the families in our thoughts and prayers at this time. The church is open during the day and available as a place for people to come and sit, pray or light a candle to help remember those who have died or are grieving. We have our own dedicated pastoral care team at St Matthew’s who are also available for support and friendship for anyone who needs it.”
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Weather for Petersfield
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North