Glasgow blast criminal prosecution ends with fine

Published:  27 September, 2007

The criminal prosecution, which arose out of the joint investigation into the explosion and building collapse at the ICL site in Maryhill, Glasgow on 11 May 2004, had ended.  ICL Plastics Ltd were fined £200,000 at the High Court at Glasgow, having earlier pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 and Section 4 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974, and associate company, ICL Tech Ltd were fined £200,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of Section 2 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974.

Stewart Campbell, HSE director, Scotland said: "Our first thoughts remain with the families and friends of those who died, and the many other people who were injured in this tragic incident. 

“The scale, complexity and challenge of our investigation was massive, and was pursued through an innovative joint investigation involving HSE/HSL, Strathclyde Police and Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).  The investigation necessitated effective co-ordination and co-operation between the investigators and the commitment of substantial resource.  HSE/HSL drew on their investigative and forensic expertise to identify the cause of the explosion as a leak from a corroded pipe carrying Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).  The LPG then accumulated in an unventilated room, and the ignition of this LPG caused an explosion of sufficient force to cause the building to collapse.”

Campbell continued: “It is important for all those affected by the explosion that lessons are learned and I would like to remind all users and suppliers of LPG of the risk from buried pipes carrying LPG, particularly when located near areas where gas can accumulate.  Everyone should ensure that problems which are out of sight are not out of mind.  The dangers posed by buried pipes can be overcome by a systematic approach to risk management and the findings of the investigation reinforce the need for effective arrangements for the maintenance, renewal or repositioning of buried pipes.  HSE strongly advises that buried metallic pipes are effectively corrosion protected and maintained, or replaced either with over ground pipes or buried plastic pipes constructed and installed to the appropriate standards.”

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