Manx water authority pays tribute to 'hard worker'

Lude Gell Lude Gell was killed when a wall collapsed near Peel Promenade

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The Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority has paid tribute to a "well-liked, hard worker" who was killed when a wall collapsed near Peel promenade.

John Lawrence "Lude" Gell, 52, from Peel died in an accident on Monday at the bottom of Walpole Avenue.

The authority said Mr Gell had been a long-standing employee with more than 13 years experience in the job.

"This is probably one of the authority's darkest days," said chief executive Peter Winstanley.

"Our sincere condolences go out to Lawrence's family and friends."

He said Mr Gell had been part of a team of four authority workers carrying out a "routine job" when the wall collapsed on top of him.

'Shallow trench'

"It happened during the replacement of half-inch diameter lead pipeline that feeds houses on the promenade.

"We do approximately 200 of these replacements every year. The men were digging a very shallow trench by hand," continued Mr Winstanley.

"None of the others were injured but they are all very traumatised and some are getting counselling from the support services."

Health and Safety Inspectorate officers are currently working with the police to carry out an investigation.

Mr Gell was divorced with two children.

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