BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 21:11 GMT
Bibby's death caused hospital alert
Sir Derek Bibby
Sir Derek had decided to end his cancer treatment
A millionaire shipping magnate's use of a powerful pesticide to commit suicide prompted a major chemical alert at a Merseyside hospital, an inquest has heard.

Sir Derek Bibby poured the pesticide on the hot coals of the sauna at his luxury mansion, which led to his body giving off toxic phosphine gas fumes that overcame medical staff.

Sir Derek - former head of the Bibby Group - had decided to end his life after he was told he had only weeks to live because he was suffering from cancer.

On Thursday a coroner heard how the 80-year-old's body gave off the toxic gas and caused the shutdown of casualty at Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral, for 12 hours.


It is a tragic death - Sir Derek was a devoted family man, a champion of youth, a captain of industry

Coroner Christopher Johnson
Coroner Christopher Johnson, sitting at Wallasey Coroners' Court, heard Sir Derek had left a note warning of the gas filling the cellar at his Cheshire home, Willaston Grange.

He had not considered the impact the method of suicide would have at the hospital.

Mr Johnson heard Sir Derek had been suffering from blood cancer and required fortnightly transfusions to keep him alive.

But he decided to give up the treatment.

Coroner's officer Arthur Flower told the court that on the morning of his death - 9 October this year - Sir Derek invited his daughter, Jennifer Smith, for lunch.

Arrowe Park Hospital
Five hospital workers were treated for fumes
Mr Flower said it was Ms Smith who alerted emergency services, after taking the family dog for a walk following their meal.

He said she found a note written by Sir Derek warning her not to go to the cellar because of the toxic gas.

Rescusitation attempts failed and he died in hospital.

Coroner Mr Johnson recorded a verdict of suicide.

He said: "It is a tragic death. Sir Derek was a devoted family man, a champion of youth, a captain of industry as well as having very distinguished war service."

After leaving military service, Sir Derek returned to Liverpool and took control of the family shipping business, The Bibby Group, boosting its cargo fleet to more than 20 ships.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Peter Bibby, Sir Derek's son
"He was ready to go and he said he would do himself in"

Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes