The front axle of the combine harvester involved in a fatal accident in Stroumbi on Monday is now the focus of investigations.

The two victims – 53-year-old farmer Nicos Demosthenous, an Inia resident, and 62-year-old Panicos Ioannides, from Stroumbi – were were crushed to death after a combine harvester overturned.

According to the report, Demosthenous was driving the vehicle towards the main road after harvesting a field that belonged to Ioannides.

It is thought that he was attempting to enter the Stroumbi-Kathikas road when he lost control of the harvester in an uphill part of the road, which then upturned, crushing him and Ioannides.

According to a Cyprus News Agency (CNA) report, the front axle was found cut and what is being investigated is whether it was cut while driving, causing the operator to lose control, or whether it was cut when the machine overturned.

The front axle gives movement to the heavy agricultural machine but at the same time is the component with which the operator can stop the machine.

It is still unknown whether Ioannides was on the vehicle or on the road, as his body was found outside the harvester while Demosthenous was trapped inside and had to be cut free by firefighters.

Head of the provincial labour inspection office George Katsonouris said a thorough investigation is being carried out on the machine with the removal of some parts in order to come to safe conclusions.

The investigations are also involving the Department of Road Transport, which is examining whether the machine was in good mechanical condition and whether it was registered.

Meanwhile autopsies conducted on the bodies of the deceased on Tuesday showed that the death of 62-year-old Panicos Ioannides, was caused by haemorrhagic shock as a result of multiple injuries to his body and vital organs, while 53-year-old Nicos Demosthenous died by asphyxia as a result of being crushed by the combine harvester, as well as multiple injuries to his body and vital organs.

The funerals of both will be held tomorrow, Wednesday.