Girl (8) killed, sister (11) critical in freak accident on farm
AN eight-year-old girl has died and her 11-year-old sister is fighting for her life after a freak farm accident in Co Cork.
The two sisters were injured when they were struck by a piece of farm machinery which inexplicably detached from a large tractor.
The accident happened shortly before 7.30pm when both girls were just minutes away from going into a nearby house for their tea.
Both were injured when the equipment fell on top of them at a farm outside Newtownshandrum in north Cork.
The girls were visiting the farm which is understood to be operated by a family friend. Both were injured and left trapped underneath the heavy implement.
Desperate efforts were made by locals and emergency service members to help both at the scene. But tragically, the eight-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor.
She is understood to have suffered severe head and chest injuries.
Paramedics were at the scene within minutes and transferred the 11-year-old girl to Cork University Hospital (CUH). She was last night said to be in a critical condition. Garda sources described the incident as a tragic accident.
The scene has been preserved pending an inspection, in accordance with routine protocols, by inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority.
The news was broken to the girls' parents, who were away from the area on family business, by gardai and family friends. Both were last night racing to return to Cork to attend their injured daughter's bedside at CUH.
Newtownshandrum clergy visited the scene and relatives' homes to offer support to the shocked and distraught family.
The death brings to five, the number of fatal accidents involving children on farms this year.