A BOLTON man has died after being buried in a trench he dug to protect his dream retirement home in Spain.
Andy McGaughey, aged 65, was found covered by earth from the neck down on Tuesday afternoon by a man delivering building materials to his rural hillside villa in Torrox, Malaga province.
The recently retired engineer had excavated trenches around his overseas property with a digger prior to filling them with concrete to stabilise his home after cracks appeared.
He was swept into the trench while standing above it when the land collapsed. It is believed the landslip happened on the steep-sided ground after local heavy rains.
Neighbours battled to extract Mr McGaughey as emergency services, including paramedics in an air ambulance, rushed to the scene.
But he died by the time they arrived.
A Civil Guard spokesman in Malaga said the death was the result of a freak "work accident".
Dutch neighbour Gertrudis Van Delf said: "He had been telling us for some time that he was very concerned about the stability of his house because the ground was slipping."
The neighbour added that Mr McGaughey "intended to come and live here forever".
The deceased, who is divorced with two children, bought the house ten years ago and holidayed there regularly with his partner.
She had spent Christmas with him at the property, but returned to the UK just over a week before the tragedy. Mr McGaughey had started the repair work, alone, around the same time.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We were notified on January 14 of the death of a British national in Malaga, Spain.
"We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.”