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‘Can’t believe this has happened’: Angry family demand answers after Legionnaire’s disease death


It’s been revealed a Melbourne man died of Legionnaire’s disease yesterday, prompting his angry family to demand answers.

The man, 73, contracted the disease during a shopping trip in Gladstone Park in late April.

Neil Mitchell has been told he was one of three men hospitalised after contracting the disease in that area.

Nine cooling towers were subsequently checked and disinfected.

The man’s grieving family is today furious, and wants to know why the area was allowed to become dangerous.

They told Neil Mitchell we need stricter testing and penalties.

“I just became so angry because, naively, I thought that this insidious disease … had been eradicated,” said James Downing, the husband of the man’s niece.

“A few years ago there’d been some deaths, and I just presumed the government would be protecting us by now.

“I would’ve thought there’d be strong laws … and then a strong regime of testing.

“It seems to be, from what I understand, quite a preventable disease and I just can’t believe this has happened.”

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Mr Downing said his wife’s uncle, a retired electrical engineer, was “just a wonderful, wonderful man”.

“He was was gregarious, really fit.

“He was in his mid-70s, but more like in his mid-40s.

“He was about to embark on a around-Australia camping tour with his wife to remote locations.”