By Shelley Marsden
A boy has died and his father is fighting for his life after a farming accident in County Antrim.
Both were overcome by poisonous fumes as they were mixing slurry and it is understood they were found by a postman on Saturday afternoon.
The boy’s father Robert Christie, who is in his early 50s, is in intensive care in a Belfast hospital following the incident at the family farm on the Ballynaloob Road, Dunloy.
He was taken to Causeway hospital while his son, also called Robert, was airlifted via Royal Navy rescue helicopter from Prestwick in Scotland to the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast.
A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokesperson said that the Health and Safety Executive are launching an investigation into the incident.
“At the request of family members, police will not be releasing any further details at this time,” the PSNI said.
Local MP, the Democratic Unionist party’s Ian Paisley Jr said: “It is deeply distressing to learn of yet another death near a slurry pit.”
He added: “These accidents are tragic as they remind us of the real dangers the farming community face every day.”
Ballymoney mayor John Finlay said: “There has been a tragic farm accident and I would like to say that the family are in my thoughts.
“The whole of the community here has been calling me to voice their concern for the family.”
Locals have expressed their sadness at the number of deaths from this type of incident – ten months ago, three members of the same family died in a slurry accident on their farm near Hillsborough, County Down.
Nevin and Graham Spence, brothers, died with their father Noel after fumes from a slurry tank overcame them last September. Their father had fallen into the tank.