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Farmer died in tragic grain silo accident, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 16:03 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:35 09 September 2019

John Edwards, 78, died after becoming trapped in a grain silo at his farm near Eye. Picture: EDWARDS FAMILY

John Edwards, 78, died after becoming trapped in a grain silo at his farm near Eye. Picture: EDWARDS FAMILY

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A "well liked and respected" farmer died in a tragic accident on the farm where he had lived for 66 years, an inquest heard.

John Edwards was found completely submerged by grain in a brick store bin within the grounds of Rishangles Lodge in Hestley Green, near Eye, on February 14 this year.

The 78-year-old had been helping to load lorries with grain when he entered the storage bin and got into difficulty.

He was later discovered by a farm worker after his wife Susan asked for help finding him.

During the search, farm labourer Christopher Zagni climbed onto a catwalk above the silo and saw a "patch of cloth" emerging from the top of the grain, which turned out to be Mr Edwards' shirt.

Mr Zagni tried to clear Mr Edwards' airways to save him but was pronounced dead by paramedics at 6.49pm.

Pathologist Katie Dickinson said there was "no chance of resuscitation at the point he was found", which she believed was "some time" after he had died.

Mrs Edwards paid tribute to her husband at the inquest hearing at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich on Monday, September 9.

In a statement read to the court, she said: "My husband was a very hard working farmer who had recently retired.

"He very much enjoyed his farm, his family and his new sports car. He also enjoyed a joke and was in high spirits before his death.

"He was well liked and respected in the community and that was reflected at his funeral. I think this paints a picture of a happy family man who enjoyed life to the full."

A jury concluded that Mr Edwards' death was accidental. His medical cause of death, they recorded, was traumatic asphyxiation caused by a large weight of grain compressing his chest.

A further statement on behalf of the Edwards family said: "Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us since the tragic death of John.

"His passing has been a great loss to his family, friends and community.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the professionals involved over the last few months.

"We wish to move on form the vents of John's sudden death to remember our beloved husband, father and brother in peace."

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