David Young and Michelle Devane, PA
Police are working with health and safety authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a two-year-boy in a farming accident in Co Antrim.
Environmental health officers from Causeway Coast and Glens Council are also liaising with the PSNI and Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSE NI) over the incident in Ballymoney on Friday.
The child, who has been named locally as Noah McAleese, died in an accident at a farm on the Bravallen Road area of Ballymoney.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it received a call shortly after 12.30pm on Friday following reports of a “farm incident”.
North Antrim MLA Dr Patricia O’Lynn said her thoughts were with the family of the child who are facing “unspeakable heartbreak”.
“Ballymoney is a close-knit town and this news has sent waves of grief across the community,” she said.
Ballymoney DUP councillor Mervyn Storey said the family of the boy have been plunged into sorrow.
“Words are hard to find in commenting on this tragic incident that has resulted in the death of a little two-year-old boy,” Mr Storey said.
“It is incalculable the sorrow that this family has been plunged into.”
He said that when he learned of the incident he thought as a grandfather himself “how unbearable it would be to have to deal with such grief”.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the immediate family and the wider family circle at this time of sorrow and loss and assure them of our sympathy and support,” he added.
Local UUP councillor Darryl Wilson, in a post on Facebook, wrote the “entire community’s heart is broken” by the “terrible tragedy”.
“No words can express how we are feeling, our collective hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to all of those impacted by this devastating loss,” he added.