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Family's utter devastation after farm death

4:40pm Thursday 21st February 2013

Family's utter devastation after farm death

The family of one of two farm workers who died in a fruit packhouse on a Tory peer's estate have spoken of their ''utter devastation'' at his death.

Scott Cain, 23, and Ashley Clarke, 24, were found unconscious on Monday afternoon in the apple store at the Blackmoor Estate in Blackmoor, near Liss, which is owned by Lord Selborne.

Members of staff as well as the emergency services attempted to resuscitate the two men but were unsuccessful.

A spokeswoman for North Hampshire Coroner Andrew Bradley said that the store room used nitrogen to cool the fruit but a cause of death was not yet known.

Post-mortem examinations on the two bodies were inconclusive and the coroner is awaiting the results of toxicology tests to establish a cause of death.

The family of Mr Clarke along with his fiancee, Rachel Higgins, and her family have released a statement through police.

They said: ''Words cannot express the pain we are all feeling at Ashley's passing.

''He was the very heart and soul of both our families and he was so much in love with Rachel that it hurts to see the torment she is going through.

''He had a passion for life and the utter devastation felt by everybody who knew him is testament to his popularity and the impact he had on many of those who knew and loved him.

''We still have many questions which will need to be answered in the fullness of time, but nothing will bring Ashley back or take away the incredible pain we are all feeling.

''We have lost someone special, a son, a brother, fiance and friend who can never be replaced and we will never forget him.

''But for now we need to grieve, supporting each other to help us through what are very difficult times.''

Hampshire police and the Health and Safety Executive have launched a joint investigation into the deaths of Mr Cain, from Liphook, and Mr Clarke, from Liss.

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