A German man in his 20s died yesterday morning from head injuries while working inside the controversial Corrib Tunnel in North Mayo. It follows the death of a 41-year-old man at a waste recycling plant in Ballymount, south Dublin, on Saturday.
Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority have launched separate investigations into the deaths.
The German worker is understood to have sustained fatal injuries to his head while working as part of the maintenance support crew for the tunnel boring machine at the front end of the tunnel at Aughoose at around 9am. He had been working for Herrenknecht, a subcontractor to Wayss & Freytag BAM Civil Joint Venture, the company constructing the pipeline bringing gas onshore.
The emergency services were contacted and he was pronounced dead at the scene after being brought to the surface. He was subsequently brought to Castlebar General Hospital. Gardaí sealed off the area and alerted the HSA, who dispatched inspectors from their regional offices in Sligo and Athlone.
Shell Ireland appointed BAM Civil and Wayss & Freytag, both subsidiaries of Royal BAM Group, as contractors for the 4.9km Corrib tunnel from under Sruwaddacon Bay in north Mayo to the Bellanaboy Gas Processing Terminal.
A HSA spokesman confirmed inspectors had been sent to the scene and a full investigation was underway.
The Corrib gas field lies about 80km off the north-west coast and the onshore pipeline works is the final phase of the scheme to be completed.
In a statement, Wayss & Freytag BAM Civil Joint Venture confirmed the tragedy: “The Joint Venture is co-operating fully with the Garda and Health and Safety Authority investigations which are underway.”
At Greenstar Recycling Centre in Ballymount on Saturday afternoon, a 41-year-old man died after receiving crush injuries from a forklift. He was involved in storing old kitchen appliances at the time.
Gardaí, who are compiling a file for the coroner, said four or five staff attended to the injured party and appealed to them to contact them at Crumlin Garda Station on 01 6666200.
Meanwhile, a part-time farmer died yesterday following a tractor accident on Saturday night.
Family man Willie Fortune, 70, was working on land at Glandore in West Cork when he sustained serious injuries. He was airlifted by an Irish Coast Guard helicopter to Cork University Hospital, but died early yesterday from his injuries.
Mr Fortune is a native of Glandore, where his family ran a shop for many years.