The inquest is opening into the deaths of two farmworkers who died while they were emptying a slurry pit in Essex.

Paul Gray, 48, from Stapleford Tawney, and Craig Whipps, 27, from Stapleford Abbotts, died at Albyns Farm, Stapleford Tawney, Essex, on 15 July 2011.

The inquest into their deaths starts on Monday (4 March) at Chelmsford Crown Court. It is expected to last for two days.

Slurry escaped from a tank at the farm near Romford during the incident, causing toxic fumes to be released into the air.

Keith Barrett a lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who specialises in helping families who have lost loved ones in accidents at work, is representing the Gray family.

He said: “The Gray family have been left devastated by the loss of Paul and they hope the inquest will provide answers about the circumstances that led to his death.”

Mr Gray left a wife and three daughters.

Mr Whipps attended Town Close House School in Norwich; Framlingham College, Suffolk; and Writtle Agricultural College in Essex.

He left a pregnant wife who has since given birth to their second child.

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