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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 June, 2005, 21:51 GMT 22:51 UK
Offshore deaths inquiry ruled out
Victims Sean McCue (left) and Keith Moncrieff and the Brent Bravo platform
The families of Sean McCue (left) and Kevin Moncrieff wanted an inquiry
The procurator fiscal in Aberdeen has rejected calls for a fatal accident inquiry into the deaths of two offshore workers, BBC Scotland has learned.

The men's families have reacted angrily to the decision after campaigning for an inquiry into the incident on Shell's Brent Bravo platform.

Sean McCue, 22, from Fife and Keith Moncrieff, 45, from Dundee, died after a massive gas escape in September 2003.

Earlier this year, oil firm Shell was fined 900,000 following the deaths.

Shell had admitted breaching three health and safety regulations and it is thought to be the biggest fine imposed on a company following a North Sea accident.

Sheriff Patrick Davies said "a substantial catalogue of errors" caused the deaths of the two men.

Since January 2000 we have had 11 deaths offshore, but only two FAIs
Jake Molloy

He said any fine had to be substantial but he took into account that Shell had tendered guilty pleas at an early stage.

The families of the men and offshore union leaders had hoped a fatal accident inquiry would shed more light on the tragedy.

Mr Moncrieff's brother Neil, said he was "extremely disappointed" at the fiscal's decision not to hold an FAI.

Mr McCue, from Kennoway, and Mr Moncrieff, from Invergowrie, had been working on a utility leg of the platform.

The two men had been asked to look at a temporary repair patch on a safety-critical pipeline in the leg. The patch had been in place for 10 months.

Jake Molloy, of offshore union OILC, said he was "struggling to find any justification for not holding an FAI".

'Lessons not learned'

"There are two reasons for holding an FAI," he said.

"The first is to establish the full facts of what occurred and the other is to learn lessons to prevent any reoccurrence.

"We certainly don't know the full facts of what happened and the fact that Shell have since had another death on the same leg of the same platform suggests that lessons have not been learned."

Mr Molloy said the OILC would contact Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson to ask her to intervene.

"Since January 2000 we have had 11 deaths offshore, but only two FAIs," he added.

Shell fined 900,000 over deaths
27 Apr 05 |  Scotland
Shell guilty over gas leak deaths
30 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Shell faces charges over deaths
09 Feb 05 |  Scotland

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