Contractors in fatal NI tree strike ‘were welding inside tent’

Emergency services and a forensic officer at Slieve Gullion forest park
Emergency services and a forensic officer at Slieve Gullion forest park

The contractor killed by a falling tree in the south-east of Northern Ireland had been doing welding work inside a tent at the time, the News Letter understainds.

It is believed the fatal victim, aged in his 20s, and another man in his 40s, were welding a water mains pipe inside the small workmen’s shelter at the entrance to Slieve Gullion park.

Emergency Services at the scene at Slieve Gullion near Newry where it is believed one man has been killed by a falling tree.. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Emergency Services at the scene at Slieve Gullion near Newry where it is believed one man has been killed by a falling tree.. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

When the tree struck the tent, it crushed the fatal victim inside.

He died at the scene.

The man in his 40s was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital at about 1.30pm today.

He was taken by road, although the air ambulance had been tasked to the scene.

Emergency Services at the scene at Slieve Gullion near Newry where it is believed one man has been killed by a falling tree.. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Emergency Services at the scene at Slieve Gullion near Newry where it is believed one man has been killed by a falling tree.. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said it was unable to trace him without further identifying details.

They were carrying out work for a contractor on behalf of NI Water.

In addition, in Co Galway a woman in her 50s who died hsa been named locally as Elvira Ferraii.

She died after a caravan she was in was blown some 15 feet down a rocky seaside incline before 8am.

Emergency Services at the scene at Slieve Gullion near Newry where it is believed one man has been killed by a falling tree.. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Emergency Services at the scene at Slieve Gullion near Newry where it is believed one man has been killed by a falling tree.. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

It is understood she was a Swiss tourist.

As well as the tragedies in Galway and south Down, much of the Province’s transport system was in disarray.

In south Down, just east of where the Slieve Gullion tragedy occurred, independent unionist councillor Henry Reilly said it had been “bedlam”, with the entire Mournes region had been cut off by blocked roads for a time.

He said at around 11am a female motorist rang him to describe nearly being hit by the metal roof of an industrial-type building to the north of Warrenpoint as it “blew off and onto the four-lane highway... a terrifying experience”.

Emergency Services at the scene at Slieve Gullion near Newry where it is believed one man has been killed by a falling tree.. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Emergency Services at the scene at Slieve Gullion near Newry where it is believed one man has been killed by a falling tree.. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia