14/12/2007

Accidental Death Verdict In Flood Case

The jury at an inquest into the death of a man who died in a storm drain during the summer floods has returned a verdict of accidental death.

Michael Barnett, 28, died from hypothermia after being trapped for four hours in a drain in Hessle in Hull on June 25, when his thigh became trapped in a temporary grill.

In returning his verdict, the jury foreman said that Mr Barnett had died "in a selfless act to help others and without thought for his own safety, he became trapped in a flooded drain".

Following the verdict, coroner Geoffrey Saul said that he would be writing to the appropriate national authorities to report the "gap" in emergency services provision for underwater rescue.

The inquest heard that firefighters were not trained to use their cutting equipment under water, while police divers were only trained in search rather than rescue techniques.

However, Mr Saul did praise all those who worked to try and save Mr Barnett.

(KMcA)


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