LA PALMA – A man in his 70s was found dead at his home on the island of La Palma after helping to clean ash from the volcanic eruptions. This is the first death associated with the volcano which first erupted 8 weeks ago.
The ash from the Cumbre Vieja volcano covered properties and some of the roads in the area near the town of La Laguna. The La Palma man, who has not yet been named, lived nearby in El Paso in the west of the island.
According to Channel 24 hours of TVE, the man had an access permit. And on Friday he entered the exclusion zone with some workers and cleaners to help clear ash from the area.
The other workers and cleaners had returned home. However, when the elderly man didn´t return, his daughter raised the alarm and alerted the authorities.
His body was found this morning (Saturday) in his home. Furthermore, a drone flying over his property noticed a hole in the roof. However, the reason for his death is currently unknown. The Guardia Civil is looking at several lines of inquiry into the cause of the man´s death.
One theory is that he had fallen from the roof of his house to remove the ash before it collapsed under the weight.
However, another theory is he could have died from inhaling sulphur dioxide.
Covered in ash
His body was covered in volcanic ash; therefore, nothing can be confirmed until an autopsy has been carried out.
This is the first fatality from the eruption; however, several others have been injured while carrying out cleaning duties.
Sergio Rodriguez, mayor of El Paso confirmed that the teams of volunteers who clean the ash are usually made up of owners of the houses, who form groups of four or five people to go to clean certain areas.
Also today, there was another earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale.