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Dairy farm worker found dead in manure holding tank

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is investigating the death of a worker Tuesday at Wicketthorn Farms in Middlesex County, Ont.

A man whose body was pulled from manure tank at a London-area dairy farm had worked there for 16 years, the farm’s owner says.

Police were alerted after a worker at Wicketthorn Farms in southwest of London went missing Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Ontario Provincial Police confirmed that the body of Carl Gregg, 58, of Middlesex Centre, had been retrieved from the manure holding tank.

Staff at Wicketthorn Farms were grieving Gregg’s death.

“It’s a tragedy. He will be missed,” said Craig Connell, one of the owners of the dairy and cattle farm.


Gregg had worked at the farm for 16 years and was a valued employee, Connell added.

Police have turned over the investigation to Ontario’s Labour Ministry, which investigates workplace deaths.

“There’s no foul play suspected from our end,” said Middlesex OPP Const. Liz Melvin.

An employee was working alone when he fell through an opening into a manure pit, ministry spokesperson Janet Deline said. A ministry inspector issued a requirement to secure the scene.

“We’re still waiting for the cause of death from the coroner,” Deline said, adding that finding will determine whether the death is ruled a workplace fatality.

The number of farming-related deaths in Canada has been falling in recent decades, but between 2002 and 20012 still averaged about 85 a year, according to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, a non-profit organization. Ontario, with Canada’s largest farm population, typically accounts for the highest number of deaths.

Southwestern Ontario, home to one of the nation’s richest farm belts, with a wide variety of commercial and family farms, often accounts for many of Ontario’s deaths.

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