Friday 15 December 2017

German killed in Corrib gas tunnel accident

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing after a German maintenance worker died as he worked on a tunnel-boring machine (TBM) at the controversial Shell Corrib tunnel.

Work on the 4.9km (3-mile) tunnel to bring gas onshore from the Atlantic Ocean off Co Mayo was immediately halted after the incident.

Lars Wagner (26) had worked for Herrenknecht, a subcontractor to the firm building the tunnel, and was believed to have been working as part of a machine maintenance support crew on the large, heavy TBM, which has an internal diameter of about 3.5m (11ft 5in).

It is understood he suffered head injuries after a valve burst on the giant boring machine.

His body was later removed to Castlebar General Hospital for a post-mortem.

Both gardai and inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) travelled to the scene at Aughoose in north Mayo after the incident was reported shortly before 9am yesterday. A statement from Wayss & Freytag BAM Civil Joint Venture, involved in building the tunnel, said operations had been suspended immediately after the incident occurred around 1.8km from the shore end of the tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay.

It confirmed a full, co-ordinated investigation had been launched into the incident and that it was co-operating with both the gardai and the HSA.

Mr Wagner was one of a number of German personnel working on the tunnel.

The victim had just returned from a holiday in Germany with his family, according to local sources.

l Inspectors from the HSA were also finishing examining the scene at Greenstar Waste Recycling facility in Ballymount Industrial Estate in Dublin after a workplace death on Saturday.

A 41-year-old foreign national, who was living in Porterstown, Clonsilla, was crushed by a forklift as he worked with a colleague storing old kitchen appliances at around 3pm.

Both were rushed to Tallaght Hospital, where the man was later pronounced dead.

Irish Independent

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