Community in shock as Newcastle tragedy victim named

Police and the emergency services at the dead man's house on Saturday as the investigation into the tragedy began

Police and the emergency services at the dead man's house on Saturday as the investigation into the tragedy began

Sympathy has been expressed for a 60-year-old Newcastle man who died after a high reading of carbon monoxide was detected in his home.

The man, named locally as William Stockdale – who is understood to have lived alone – was found suffering from a shortness of breath in his Castlewellan Road home by a neighbour on Friday evening.

Five people including two paramedics have been taken to hospital suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning

Five people including two paramedics have been taken to hospital suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning

A spokesman from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said crews were called to his Co Down home around 8pm on Friday.

“He went into cardiac arrest and the paramedics carried out resuscitation attempts on him,” he said.

“During one of the resuscitation attempts one of the paramedics started to feel very unwell in terms of a sore head and chest tightness.

“The other paramedic called the fire and rescue service to test for carbon monoxide in the house.

“They did a reading and found there was a high level of carbon monoxide in the room.

“The paramedics treated themselves and the three other people who were in the room.”

Five other people, including two paramedics, were taken to the Ulster Hospital for treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning from the house.

The NIAS spokesman said four ambulances attended the scene.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety executive said: “The Health and Safety Executive is aware of the incident in Newcastle and is working alongside other agencies to help investigate the circumstances. Our thoughts are with the man’s family at this most difficult time. “

DUP councillor Glyn Hanna said the news has “sent shockwaves throughout the community in Newcastle”.

He said: “Our sympathies are with Mr Stockdale’s family, extended family and neighbours at this time.

“This is a hard blow for them all and comes around a year after a couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the caravan park in the town.”

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said her sympathies were with the man’s family.

“No one expects this kind of tragedy to descend upon their lives so suddenly and the family and friends of this man will be left utterly devastated.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire community are with them today. This tragedy has thrown into sharp focus the danger posed by carbon monoxide and I urge everyone to ensure that they have a detector in the homes and that they test it regularly.”

DUP MLA Jim Wells, who lost a friend to carbon monoxide poisoning some years ago, appealed for Ulster home owners to buy detectors “to save lives”.