Farmer remains critically ill after slurry accident that killed eight-year-old son

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A father of three remained in a critical condition in hospital last night following a farm accident that claimed the life of his eight-year-old son.

Bertie Christie, 52, was fighting for his life in the Causeway Hospital in Northern Ireland after he and his son Robert were overcome by slurry fumes on a farm near Dunloy, Co Antrim yesterday afternoon.

Robert, a pupil at Knockahollet primary school, was airlifted to Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital but medics were unable to save him.

Investigators from Northern Ireland’s Health and Safety Executive are trying to piece together exactly what happened.

It is understood the father and son were mixing slurry on a farm belonging to a family friend.

Neighbour Bill Kennedy said the community was stunned.

“The whole community is absolutely devastated,” said the shop owner and DUP councillor. “They are shocked, can’t believe or take in what has happened.”

The tragedy is the latest in a series to rock the agricultural community in Northern Ireland.In September 2012 up and coming Ulster rugby star Nevin Spence, his father Noel and brother Graham died in a slurry tank in Hillsborough, Co Down.