Mystery over tyre explosion death

MYSTERY still remains as to how a 27-year-old was killed when a tyre exploded in his face in an horrific industrial accident.

Dave Gooderham

MYSTERY still remains as to how a 27-year-old was killed when a tyre exploded in his face during a horrific industrial accident.

Experts said they could not be sure why a lorry tyre exploded in the face of Martyn Bacon as an inquest into the tragedy ruled he had died from accidental death.

His grieving family yesterday called for lessons to be learned across the industry in the wake of last year's fatal accident on the outskirts of Sudbury.

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Mr Bacon, who lived in Great Cornard, died when the tyre inexplicably exploded while he was working for his father's business Dial-a-Tyre.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive said there was no way of knowing for sure what caused the blast although investigations into the tyre and compressor were given the all clear.

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The 11 members of the jury in Bury St Edmunds yesterday unanimously agreed on a ruling of accidental death following the incident in July of last year.

Afterwards, a spokesman for the family praised the “ongoing support” they had received from friends, colleagues and customers.

He added: “It has been a very difficult year. Every little hurdle has brought us nearer to some closure and the verdict was what we expected. The only person who truly knows what happened is sadly no longer with us.

“We are all still deeply affected by this and we will never be completely healed. There has been a full and thorough inquiry and I just hope lessons are learned right through the industry.”

Mr Bacon was working for Dial-a-Tyre while his father, also called Martyn , underwent an operation on his shoulder.

On the day in question, the 27-year-old was changing tyres for BM Tankering on the former Chilton Airfield, near Sudbury, when the accident took place.

In a statement, Michael Wright, director and transport manager at the firm, said: “I am a first aider for the company so I checked for breathing and a pulse and he had neither. I started CPR and carried on for about 10 to 15 minutes until the paramedics arrived.

“It was a very traumatic day for everyone concerned. The whole incident has scarred everyone involved and we are never going to forget it.”

Paying tribute to Mr Bacon, Christopher Thomas, who was at the site at the time, said: “He was a lovely lad, very hard working and conscientious. He was always wearing a big smile.”

A post mortem carried out found that Mr Bacon died from a broken neck.

The inquest heard from Taran Hewitt, from the HsC - which investigated along with police - who said there were safety guidelines in place and suggested that Mr Bacon might have got distracted and inflated the tyre too much.

Speaking after the inquest, a spokesman for the family said: “We would like to thank the staff at BM Tankering and Mr Wright in particular for his valiant efforts in what was very difficult circumstances.

“We would also very much like to thank the compassion shown by Suffolk police throughout the investigation. We would also like to thank the other emergency services and the care and compassion shown during the inquest today.”

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