British tourist’s well-plunge death “makes no sense”, says husband

Months after the death of a British tourist who fell 10-metres to her death down well-shaft in the Algarve, the woman’s husband is still baffled as to what caused the tragedy.

Speaking to an inquest last week, Anthony Whitehouse said: “I have been back to the site many times. There are heavy covers. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.”

What appears to have happened is that 60-year-old photography buff Christine Whitehouse inadvertently stepped on the cover of the shaft as she was taking photographs at the Arade dam last summer.

Her husband told Cannock Coroner’s Court in Staffordshire that he heard a ‘clang’ and turned around to see his wife disappearing.

“I saw the top of my wife’s head disappearing down the hole, and the cover opening up.

Her eyes were closed and she didn’t make a sound.”

The ‘clang’ may have been the sound of his wife hitting her head on a protruding pole.

Mr Whitehouse explained that on one of his returns to the site with his son, the latter noticed the pole and said: “That’s what killed mum”.

“The size of the pipe matched the bruise on her head,” he told the inquest. “She fell forward and must have hit her head and fallen down the hole.”

Recording the death as a “tragic, genuine accident”, senior coroner Andrew Haigh said the “exact sequence of events was difficult to confirm”.

According to news reports at the time, the couple and two friends had walked up to the dam and through a fenced off area. Emergency services arrived at the scene within half an hour, but Mrs Whitehouse was already found to be dead from her injuries.

By NATASHA DONN natasha.donn@algarveresident.com