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Thursday 26 April 2018

Man killed in explosion while working on gas line

The scene on the N7 on the Limerick side of Nenagh where a gas explosion killed a worker. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
The scene on the N7 on the Limerick side of Nenagh where a gas explosion killed a worker. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Brian Byrne

Two investigations are underway after a man in his 40s was killed in an explosion during the construction of a natural gas pipeline.

The man was working on behalf of Gas Networks Ireland laying pipes adjacent to the old N7 Limerick/Dublin road near Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

A spokesman for Gas Networks Ireland said the explosion was not caused by natural gas, but could not confirm what caused the incident.

The man, believed to be in his late 40s and an employee of subcontractor Balfour Beatty CLG Limited, had been laying pipes when he died at around 4pm yesterday. Gardai and the Health and Safety Authority have launched two separate investigations into the incident.

The road was closed last night pending a forensic investigation, and diversions were put in place to the N7.

The construction began last month and is part of an €8.5m project which is due for completion next Autumn.

The spokesman added: "It is not clear, at this stage, how this incident occurred, but we can confirm it was not a natural gas explosion.

"There is no further information available at this time. Gas Networks Ireland wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased."

Meanwhile, a second man died in Co Tipperary yesterday after he was struck by a lorry in Carrick-on-Suir at around 2.40pm.

The man, named locally as Paddy Griffin (61), from Sean Treacy Park, in Carrick-on-Suir died at Townpark on the N24 road in the town.

It's understood the man died while crossing the road near temporary traffic lights which were put in place during construction works also carried out under the direction of Gas Networks Ireland.

It's believed the man walked with a shuffle and could often be seen on the roads pushing a bicycle alongside him to help him to walk.

Councillor Kieran Bourke described the incident as a "freak, tragic accident".

"They were doing underground works, and they had just reinstated the public footpaths. They seemed to be just wrapping up and finishing the work.

"It happened at the traffic lights. The traffic was queued."

It's understood the incident was in no way related to the construction works.

Irish Independent

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