10:01 EST 28 July 2012
A middle-aged man died in an explosion after accidentally igniting gas residue when turning a disused oil drum into a barbecue.
Ian Simpson was constructing a makeshift grill in his brother’s garden in Horspath, Oxford, yesterday and was using an angle grinder to cut the drum in half when sparks ignited left-over gasoline.
The 48-year-old suffered fatal head injuries and later died in hospital.
Shocked neighbours alerted by the force of the window-shaking explosion arrived at the scene to find Mr Simpson cradled in the arms of his brother.
He had been cutting open the 40 gallon oil drum when the explosion happened, sending the barrel shooting over a 4ft high fence.
The force of the drum exploding sent Mr Simpson reeling backwards and he struck his head on a concrete patio.
He suffered massive head injuries and his heart stopped.
His brother Jimmy, with the help of neighbours, frantically tried to get his heart beating again as they waited for the arrival of emergency services.
Although he was swiftly transported to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, the farmhand died shortly after arrival.
Neighbours reported of an ‘almighty explosion’ just before 8pm last night and one woman, who asked not to be named, said: ’The ground literal shock beneath my feet.
‘When neighbours arrived to help they found Ian in Jimmy’s arms with blood pouring from his head.
‘Ian was a wonderful guy that was always helping people.
‘He was the sort of person who would do anything for anyone and it is absolutely tragic that he was doing the very thing he loved – helping his brother.’
Mr Simpson reportedly lived with his elderly mother, just a few doors down from his beloved brother and his family.
It was understood that Jimmy’s young family were also in the house when their uncle was fatally injured.
Earlier today their brother, Craig Simpson described him as a ‘fantastic son, brother, uncle and friend.’
Craig Simpson, aged 46, was celebrating his birthday when he received the phone call telling him of the accident.
Hours later the council worker had to break the tragic news of Ian’s death to his 82-year-old mother.
‘It is just such a sad loss.
‘Ian was such a great person who would just do anything for anyone and was helping out his brother when it happened.
‘Our mother is just devastated by the news.’
Mr Simpson worked as a part-time farmhand in the village and as a handyman in the local communtiy
Ian worked part-time at a farm in the village and also worked in the village as a handy man.
‘He would turn his hand to anything,’ his brother said.
‘If an old person wanted their grass cutting or if somebody needed a door hanging Ian was your man.
‘He was just such a lovely bloke. Everybody knew and liked him.
‘He was also a fantastic uncle to my kids and my other brother and sister’s children.’
The freak-accident is being investigated by police although detectives said today that they were treating the death as ‘unexplained’.
A spokesman for the South Central Ambulance Service said that they dispatched two ambulances and an officer to the scene and took the injured man to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where he was tragically declared dead just a short time after arriving.
A postmortem examination was expected to take place on Mr Simpson’s body in the next few days and an inquest will be opened and adjourned.
Detective Constable Rachel Jackson, based at Abingdon police station, said: ‘There was an increased police presence in the area last night while we investigated the circumstance surrounding this man’s injuries.
‘Although at this stage we are currently treating this death as unexplained we do not believe it to be suspicious.’
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
915 1947165 48
his path of destiny = 48 = Remembrance.
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