Firemen help move 29 stone man’s body

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MORE than 20 firefighters were needed to help remove the corpse of a 29-stone man from the top floor of a block of flats.

Specialist assistance was requested by Humberside Police after the grim discovery was made 10 days after the man had died in the flat in Gibraltar Court, Goole.

A report to Humberside Fire Authority shows two fire engines were initially dispatched to the scene, followed by a third, a technical rescue unit and a rescue support unit.

In total, 23 members of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service were required to deal with the recovery.

The report said crews were hampered because the body was badly decomposed and it was eventually removed by six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and protective clothing.

“The gentleman had been dead for approximately 10 days and as such had succumbed to severe decomposition and was distended with decomposition gases,” it said.

After an assessment by a specialist rescue adviser from the brigade, “It was confirmed that the recovery could be achieved, though due to the size of the body and the nature of the decomposition, it was likely to be a protracted incident and would require the use of breathing apparatus and viral protection suits.

“With the technical rescue unit and the rescue support unit, the recovery of the individual was achieved by six technical rescue firefighters utlising lines, salvage sheets, plastic sheets and personal protective equipment.”

The brigade is to review the equipment required to complete similar tasks in the future following issues raised at the operational debrief, the report said.

The operation, which began at 9.36pm on September 27, was listed as being “under control” more than two hours later and the last fire engine did not arrive back at its station until 12.49am the next day.

The report, which provides a summary of the incident, does not say how the man died.