Footballer Robbie Keane’s cousin in sewer tragedy

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Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane’s cousin was killed working in a sewer on Wednesday.

Alan Harris, a father of two, was overcome by fumes, believed to be methane gas, when he began inspecting underground pipes in a housing estate in the Portmarnock area of north Dublin.

His brother Stephen was on the job with him and was knocked unconscious by the noxious gases but was rescued by fire crews.

He was said to be in a serious condition in Beaumont Hospital in north Dublin.

Keane has not spoken about the tragedy and he trained with the Republic squad today in Malahide, a few miles from the scene, but the Football Association of Ireland confirmed the family link.

Mr Harris was in his 40s and owner of DrainTech, a company specialising in drainage clearance and pipe and sewer unblocking in the Dublin region for about 20 years.

The accident happened on Wednesday afternoon in the Drumnigh Woods estate in Portmarnock when the brothers began to assess work on pipes under the road, some of which were reported to be 20 feet below the surface.

Two investigations are ongoing into the death, one by the garda and the other by the Health and Safety Authority.

Questions centre on whether the men were overcome by methane gas in a confined space as they began initial assessments of the work to be done on the sewers.

The inquiries will also look into what breathing apparatus was available to the men.