Distillery worker commits suicide by leaping into vat of whisky
A distillery worker killed himself by leaping into a huge vat of whisky, it has emerged.
Brian Ettles, 46, drowned after he climbed up a 16ft wooden container filled with water and yeast and threw himself inside.
Paramedics and firefighters rushed to the scene of the tragedy at The Glenfiddich Distillery, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Father-of-two Mr Ettles' was discovered inside the 50,000-litre tank, known as a washback, which is used in the early stages of distilling whisky.
It is thought that the incident at the distillery in Dufftown, Banffshire, on Saturday evening happened the day after Mr Ettles's wife Irene celebrated her 54th birthday.
The family were too distraught to speak but the close-knit community were left in shock.
Eileen Mackenzie, 67, who lives close to the family home, said: "I am just really shocked.
"It's such a horrible way for someone to go and most people I have spoken to are really quite upset about it.
"He was just a young man and I have no idea what might have made him want to take his own life in such a way."
Mr Ettles, from nearby Keith, was father to son Stuart, 21, and daughter Julie, 25.
He held a senior role at the world-famous whisky plant and had been an employee for 23 years.
A waitress at The Commercial Hotel in Dufftown said that Mr Ettles had been into the hotel's restaurant and bar over the festive period.
The worker, who didn't want to be named, said: "Brian had been in the bar a few times for food and a pint after he finished work.
"Nobody here really knew him that well because he lived in Keith, but he seemed like a nice enough man and we are all really shaken up that he has died."
Shocked bosses at the Glenfiddich plant closed the popular tourist attraction for the second day yesterday (Tue) as a mark of respect for Mr Ettles and so police could finish their investigations.
A spokeswoman for Grampian Police said: "Officers were called to an address in Dufftown where a 46-year-old man was found dead. There are no suspicious circumstances."
The award winning Glenfiddich plant was opened in 1886 by William Grant and is still run by members of his family.
A spokesman for the firm said: "We decided to close as a mark of respect for the person who died. Our thoughts go out to his family."
Distillery worker commits suicide by leaping into vat of whisky - Telegraph (external - login to view)