Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Monday, 21 April 2008 16:57 UK

Family critical after man's death

Robert Howe
Mr Howe died in hospital of severe burns and organ failure

The family of a man who died after a factory explosion have said he would still be alive if more "care and attention" had been paid to equipment.

Robert Howe, 52, of Wellington, in Shropshire, died after a boiler exploded at the Allscott sugar factory, showering him with hot coals in 2003.

A jury recorded a verdict of accidental death on Friday and highlighted several failings over the boiler's maintenance.

Mr Howe's family said the past five years had been "long and distressing".

The jury said corrosion of boiler pipes had gone unreported and criticised the training and supervision given to a man who fitted a misaligned soot blower.

'Devastated by events'

The soot blower - which was part of the boiler - had caused corrosion to a pipe which led to the explosion, the jury concluded.

The corrosion on the pipe had been spotted when it was inspected in 2002, but this had not been reported.

Mr Howe died in hospital of severe burns and organ failure.

In a statement released though solicitors, his family said: "The family feel that had there been more care and attention to prevent the failings leading up to this tragic incident, Mr Robert Howe, a British Sugar worker, would not have lost his life.

"The whole family have been devastated by the events surrounding Robert's death and would like to emphasise that it is impossible for them to put their feelings into words."




SEE ALSO
Sugar beet blast death accidental
18 Apr 08 |  Shropshire
Corrosion 'may have caused' blast
16 Apr 08 |  Shropshire
Man found 'covered in hot coals'
15 Apr 08 |  Shropshire
Factory blast man's inquest opens
14 Apr 08 |  Shropshire
Factory worker dies from burns
04 Mar 03 |  England

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