Friends of Barry Purtell and David Lobb have rallied around to start fundraising for the pair, who were involved in a gas explosion at Hotel Rochester on Sunday.June 18, 2014 8:40am
Friends of Barry Purtell and David Lobb have rallied around to start fundraising for the pair, who were involved in a gas explosion at Hotel Rochester on Sunday.
Mr Purtell, 34, died as a result and left behind two young children.
Late yesterday, Mr Lobb, 52, remained in a critical condition at the Alfred hospital.
The accident unfolded about 1.30pm on Sunday when the pair were moving equipment in the cellar of the hotel.
Echuca Criminal Investigations Unit Senior Detective David Quinlan said Mr Purtell died at 5.10pm.
He described Mr Purtell as ‘‘brave and courageous’’ for helping his friend Mr Lobb at the scene.
Sen. Detective Quinlan was unable to comment further on Mr Purtell’s actions.
‘‘That’s what they do in a small country town,’’ he said.
Nanneella mechanic Tony Murphy, who worked with Mr Purtell, described him as a man with a ‘‘heart of gold’’.
‘‘He would never see anyone stuck,’’ he said.
‘‘He had a great sense of humour
Mr Murphy said his colleague was a self-taught mechanic and a pedantic worker.
Sen. Detective Quinlan said the incident was being treated as a nasty accident at this stage.
Forensic experts are investigating.
A flyer to promote the fundraising efforts for the men says they were injured ‘‘while doing what they always did
‘‘Unfortunately despite the best efforts of emergency services, Barry succumbed to his injuries. Dave is still in a medically induced coma,’’ it reads.
‘‘Dave has a long road to recovery ahead and will need constant care and an enormous amount of support.’’
The donations will be auctioned or raffled at a later date to assist with ongoing support for the families.
Donations can be made to an account called ‘Dave and Barry’, BSB 013
You can also contact Corey on 0437
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Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
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