Two farmers airlifted to hospital following slurry accident in Northern Ireland

An air ambulance arrived on the farm and took the men to hospital, where their condition is described as "stable"
An air ambulance arrived on the farm and took the men to hospital, where their condition is described as "stable"

Two farmers were overcome by toxic slurry fumes on their farm in Northern Ireland over the weekend, and are now recovering in hospital.

The two men, a father and his son, were mixing hen slurry on their family farm in Claudy, County Londonderry when they were overcome by fumes around 4pm on Saturday (16 June).

Emergency services, including an air ambulance, arrived on the farm and took the men, one aged in his 70s and the other in his 40s, to Altnagelvin Hospital.

The conditions of both men have been described as "stable".

Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey told the Belfast Telegraph that the local farming community are "shocked but relieved that we are not coping with two fatalities".

"We are very lucky that we are not looking at two deaths today," Mr McGlinchey said.



According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), incidents involving slurry occur regularly on farms in the UK.

These incidents include people, not just farmers, being overcome by toxic gases, drowning as a result of a fall into slurry or liquid stores, or being injured from the collapse of structures containing slurry.

Slurry is broken down by bacterial action which produces gases. Slurry gas includes methane, carbon monoxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide, all of which can create a risk to human and animal health.

Some gases are flammable, others are toxic and some will displace oxygen from the air, causing a risk of asphyxiation.

An inquest held in May this year heard how two farmers from Yorkshire died in a slurry accident in 2015 after entering it to remove a blockage, becoming overcome with fumes within a matter of seconds.