Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 17:49 UK

Blast debris 'found 600ft away'


A jury inquest has heard how debris from an explosion at a defence factory in which a worker was killed was found 600ft (183m) away.

Debris from an explosion at a Hampshire defence factory in which a worker was killed was found 600ft (183m) away, a jury inquest has heard.

Anthony Sheridan, of Pound Road, Over Wallop, Hampshire, died in the blast at Wallop Defence Systems Ltd in Middle Wallop, near Andover, on 26 June 2006.

A large oven used to cure military decoy flares in Building 106 exploded.

The jury heard Mr Sheridan was involved in taking flares from the ovens and a co-worker escaped injury in the blast.

Robert Race, who had gone to help Mr Sheridan, 37, described hearing "a very loud bang - an explosion".

Anthony Sheridan
Anthony Sheridan was involved in taking flares out of the large ovens

In a statement read to the jury at Winchester's Coroner's Court, Tracy Sheridan, 31, said her brother had in the past complained about the protective equipment he had to wear while working in Building 106.

The statement said: "It made him hot and sweaty and gave him spots like boils on his forehead."

She also stated her brother had ulcers in his mouth and had been to see the company's nurse.

However, Ms Sheridan added: "He didn't know if it was work-related."

Mr Sheridan had also tested positive for a low level of nitroglycerin contamination two weeks before the explosion, the inquest heard.

And, of the 20 employees who tested positive, only one had recorded a level which was above national guidelines.

The inquest also heard Wallop Defence Systems took a number of steps to address the problem and had called in the Health and Safety Laboratory to provide help and advice.

The hearing continues.

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