Suffolk farmer died after being submerged by grain in silo

John Edwards Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption John Edwards had lived and worked at the farm, near Eye, for 66 years

A farmer died when he was submerged by grain in a storage silo, an inquest heard.

John Edwards, 78, was found inside the silo by a farm worker who tried to dig him out with his hands, the court was told.

Grain was being loaded from the 20ft (7m) deep silo into a lorry at Rishangles Lodge in Thorndon in Suffolk on 14 February.

Mr Edwards' death was ruled an accident by the jury at Suffolk Coroner's Court.

He had lived and worked at the farm, near Eye, for 66 years.

Mr Edwards' wife Susan told the inquest she left him doing the crossword, while eating a chocolate ├ęclair - his favourite lunch. She said he was "perfectly OK" when she left him.

His body was later found by Christopher Zagni at about 17:45, after Mrs Edwards raised the alarm when she could not find her husband.

Mr Zagni was walking along the gantry above the silos when he spotted part of Mr Edwards' collar poking through the top of the grain.

'Loved farm and family'

The coroner said safety features, including metal railings on the gantry and a metal grate inside, made it "virtually impossible" for Mr Edwards to have fallen into the silo.

The reason why Mr Edwards climbed into the silo remains a mystery.

Mrs Edwards said her husband was a "hard-working" and "high-spirited man".

She said he "always enjoyed a good joke" and that he loved "his farm and his family".

He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 19:17.

The medical cause of death was given as traumatic asphyxia caused by compression of the chest.

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