Tributes to dead fruit pickers

Two people have been found dead on the Hampshire estate of a Conservative peer.

Tributes to fruit pickers killed on Tory peer's estate

Friends of a young farm worker who died along with a colleague - after entering a storage building - have spoken exclusively to ITV Meridian about him. Scott Cain, who was 23, and Ashley Clark, aged 24, collapsed after entering an apple store - cooled by nitrogen.

It happened on an estate at Selborne, near Petersfield, owned by Tory Peer Lord Selbourne. It's hoped toxicology reports will throw some light on how this tragedy happened. Andrew Pate reports.

Family tribute to killed fruit picker

Ashley Clarke Credit: Hampshire Police

The family of a fruit picker who died on the estate of a Tory peer have paid tribute to him. Ashley Clarke, 24, from Liss was one of two men who died on Lord Selborne's Blackmoor Estate on Monday. His father Ian Clarke 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 (his fiancée) 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.

"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, fiancé and friend who can never be replaced and we will never forget him."

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Police formally identify dead fruit packers

Hampshire Police have formally identified two men who died at the Blackmoor Estate in Liss in Hampshire on Monday 18 February. The bodies of Scott Cain, aged 23, from Whitehill and Ashley Clark, aged 24, from Liss were found in a storage area.

Officers were called to the site at 3.15pm by the men's colleagues when the two fruit packers did not return from their duties. The men were pronounced dead at the scene. Post mortem examinations carried out on Tuesday 19 February proved inconclusive. The police are waiting for toxicology results.

Hampshire Constabulary are leading an investigation into what happened, supported by the Health & Safety Executive.

Football club's tribute to fruit packer Scott Cain

The club president of a football team has paid tribute to Scott Cain, a fruit packer who died at work on Monday 18 February.

The 23-year-old was a player at Wey Valley Football Club when not working. He and a colleague were found dead in a building on the Blackmoor Estate in Liss, near Selborne in Hampshire.

Hampshire Police and the Health & Safety Executive are investigating.

Whilst at work on Monday, Scott and a colleague died in a tragic accident.

Scott became a Wey Valley player when he was 14 and will be sorely missed by his team mates and everyone who knew him. Scott loved his football and for me (as his manager and coach), was not only a model player but a good friend both in and out of football.

In his football he will be remembered for his fearless defending and tireless/total commitment to the team and its success. Amongst many other highlights in his time with the Club he holds the record of being the only Wey Valley player to have scored an international goal in the team’s U18 end of season friendly (April 2007) against a visiting Dutch side Telyingen. He also invented the “twin shin headed clearance” -

something the whole team will remember with a smile.

Outside of football Scotty was utterly devoted to his fiancee and daughter and could be summed up as a ‘true gent’. He had a great sense of humour and was invariably willing to help anyone, anytime.

All our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

– Nigel Welch, President & Mens' Team Manager, Wey Valley Football Club

Bodies found on Lord Selborne's estate

Lord
Lord Selborne Credit: Meridian

Lord Selborne's staff are 'too distraught' to talk. John Palmer, aged 72, is the fourth Earl of Selborne. He succeeded the titles of his grandfather - Roundell Palmer, 3rd Earl of Selborne - in 1971. He is a member of the Conservative party and entered the House of Lords in 1992.

He has been married to Joanna van Antwerp James since 1969. They have four children - Emily Palmer, George Palmer, William Palmer - Viscount Wolmer - and Luke Palmer. Lord Selborne was educated first at St. Ronan's School, Hawkhurst, then Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford.

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Picture from scene of fruit packers' deaths

Buildings
Buildings at the scene of the tragedy on Lord Selborne's estate Credit: Sarah Cooper

Two people have been found dead on the Hampshire estate of a Conservative peer. Fruit packers Scott Cain, 23, and Ashley Clarke, 24, had gone into the building on the Blackmoor Estate, owned by the Earl of Selborne, to collect apples. Police and the HSE are investigating.

Coroner: apples 'were kept cool with nitrogen'

Coroner statement: "The farm workers were going into the apple store, which is kept cool by nitrogen, to look for apples. We don't know what happened after that - I presume they were overcome by fumes and the absence of oxygen, but we can't be sure yet."

Fruit can be kept fresh through controlled atmosphere storage, which regulates temperature, oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity. Typically, the ripening process is slowed by storing fruit in sealed rooms, where oxygen levels are reduced by the infusion of nitrogen gas.

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