[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Pump fumes kill two in flood town
Tewkesbury Rugby Club
The men were pronounced dead at the scene
Two men have died trying to pump out flood water from a rugby club in Gloucestershire.

Bramwell Lane, 64, and his son Chris were using a petrol-powered pump at the club in Tewkesbury, where it is thought they may have been overcome by fumes.

Chief fire officer Terry Standing said it was a "tragedy", urging people to think about safety before using pumps.

Tewkesbury was cut off in the flooding, with hundreds of homes left without power.

'Unnecessary risks'

Mr Standing said: "It is a real tragedy that we have suffered two fatalities in the past 24 hours, which were most likely due to people attempting to remove flood water and we would strongly urge everyone involved in this task to ensure they think about safety first.

"If in doubt please call the Fire and Rescue Service who will be happy to help.

"We have a team of crews who can pump out properties, so there is no need to take any unnecessary risks, particularly when using either electric or petrol powered pumps.

"There are also safety issues where people's electricity supply has been affected by flood water - please do not reconnect power supplies until they have been checked out by a professional electrician.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those families of two men who have tragically lost their lives."

Tewkesbury, pic by Tom Berry
Tewkesbury was left stranded by the floods, pic by Tom Berry

The coroner has been informed of the deaths.

A Gloucestershire Police spokeswoman said the men were declared dead at the scene on Thursday morning, and that the deaths were being treated as unexplained.

Officers were alerted to the incident just before 0800 BST after reports that two people had been in the Gander Lane premises pumping out water and could not be raised.

Attempts were under way on Thursday to restore water to 10,000 homes in the town using a temporary supply.

Severn Trent Water issued a strict "do not drink" warning for anyone about to be connected to this supply even when it has been boiled, but said the water could be used for baths, showers and flushing toilets.

Some 140,000 households in Gloucestershire remain without water after a treatment plant flooded, and health and sanitation fears persist.

A phone line has been set for anyone requiring the fire service to help them remove flood water: 01452 729340

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific