British holidaymaker fell to death in drain at Portugal beauty spot

Mother-of-four died after falling 10 metres down a drain on holiday


British holidaymaker fell to death in drain at Portugal beauty spot

A British mother-of-four died after falling 10 metres down a drain while taking pictures at a beauty spot in Portugal.

Christine Whitehouse, 60, from Walton, Staffordshire, was holidaying with husband Anthony when the accident happened at the Barragem (Dam) do Arade, a reservoir in the Algarve.

An inquest at Cannok Coroner's Court heard how the couple, who owned a villa in Portugal, were visiting the reservoir with friends on 12 June 2014 when the tragic accident occurred.

According to the Staffordshire Newsletter, speaking at the inquest, Mr Whitehouse said: "We went past a locked gate, to stop vehicle access, but there was a small gap and we had seen a number of people go through there previously. A lot of people walked their dogs around the lake. There were no signs prohibiting access at all.

"As an engineer I was interested in the sluice gates and how they operated. (Mrs Whitehouse) was taking photographs, she always did. It was a very tranquil, lovely scene.

"I heard a solid metallic clang and turned around just to see my wife's head disappearing down and one half of a (drain) cover had just opened up."

According to the Mirror, Mr Whitehouse added: "Her eyes were closed and she didn't make a sound.

"I have been back to the site numerous times, they are heavy covers - it just doesn't make any sense at all."

The Express and Star reports that emergency crews arrived 30 minutes later, but could not revive Mrs Whitehouse, who died of multiple injuries.

Mr Haigh, senior coroner for Staffordshire South recorded his verdict as an accidental death and said it seemed to be a "genuine tragic accident".

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