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Teenager dies after falling into farm silo in Borders

A YOUNG worker has died after suffocating in a 50ft high silo tower at a farm in the Borders.

The victim, who has been named locally as Zach Fox, 18, died at the scene at Deanfoot Farm, which overlooks the village of Denholm, Roxburghshire.

He is understood to have fallen into the tower and become trapped.

Emergency services were alerted shortly after 9am yesterday and fire crews from Hawick and Jedburgh arrived at the remote location to cut a hole in the tower using a turning saw. They managed to retrieve the young man's body and hand him over to waiting paramedics but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Nobody was available for comment at the farm and owner Peter Manners could not be contacted.

The property was sealed off as an investigation got under way.

Mr Fox is described on his Facebook page as a former student at Borders College, a rugby fan and member of Minto Golf Club in Hawick, as well as being in Teviotdale Young Farmers social group.

A dog walker who confirmed the identity of the victim said: "Everyone around here is just shocked. Zach was a keen golfer."

The local person appealed for people to respect the family at the tragic time, adding: "He has just died so please leave them alone."

Tributes appeared on social networking sites.

One friend of the Fox family wrote on Twitter: "Thoughts go out to the family of Zach Fox. Such a sad day, rest in peace."

It is not known whether the silo was storing grain or fermented feed - known as silage - at the time. A Police Scotland spokesman said:"Inquiries into the full circumstances surrounding this incident are ongoing and officers are currently liaising with the Health and Safety Executive."

Farming has one of the highest fatality rates of any industry in the UK.

Children and young people aged up to 18 are regularly killed and injured on the sites, either because they are working or because they are playing there.

Last year the HSE published a pamphlet to make people aware of the dangers and recounted some of the harrowing farm tragedies that have taken place.

In 2013, insurers NFU Mutual also published a safety checklist to help keep workers safe and injury free after a series of tragedies during the busy harvest period.

Northern Ireland, in particular, has suffered a spate of similar tragedies.

Nevin Spence, 22, a rugby player died alongside his brother Graham, 30, and their father Noel, 52, after being overcome by fumes in a slurry tank near Hillsborough, County Down, in September 2012.

Contextual targeting label: 
Agriculture

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