Two more farm deaths have occurred when two men were killed in a farm accident in Co. Donegal yesterday evening.

The two men, who have been named as Seamus Hegarty and Kevin Woods, from Crossroads, are believed to have been killed when a tyre exploded of the tractor they were working on on Friday evening.

The Gardai have sealed off the scene in Donegal and the Health and Safety Authority have been alerted.

This brings to 28 farming-related deaths this year and comes just weeks after the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney launched a scheme to fund 40% of farm safety measures.

Also, just this week the Health and Safety Authority said it would look at prosecuting certain farm safety issues, including uncovered PTO shafts and children under seven being in tractors.

The number of deaths to date this year is 56% higher than the total for the whole of 2013, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in Ireland which said it has offered its support to the HSA’s new position, if it helps to make farms safer and saves lives.

The HSA said a tougher approach was needed because of the high number of deaths on Irish farms. Earlier this year a massive farm safety campaign was launched to help reduce the number of farm deaths occurring.