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Monday, 5 June, 2000, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Cigarette found near blast scene
Glomar Arctic Four
Two men died in the incident
A fatal accident inquiry has been hearing how a cigarette end was found in the corner of a space inside an oil rig where two men died in an explosion and fire.

The men were working inside the Glomar Arctic IV in Dundee harbour in 1998 when the incident happened.

A fatal accident inquiry at Dundee Sheriff Court has heard that the men are believed to have survived the initial blast, but died from smoke inhalation before rescuers could get to them.

Welder Richard King, from Jarrow, and plater Roland Duffell, from Alnwick, had been working deep inside one of the rig's supporting legs when the explosion happened.

Dundee Sheriff Court
The FAI is being heard in the sheriff court
Police photographer Neil Ritchie said he photgraphed a cigarette end on level four in the corner of an L-shaped space.

He said it did not look old and had not been sitting there for a long time.

He also said he saw no sign of any fire extinguishers on the level where the men died.

Mr King's wife Rubina said she had spoken to her husband shortly before he started the shift on which he died.

She said he had described the job as "rough".

The rig was undergoing repairs and maintenance in harbour, but it later emerged that Tayside Fire Brigade had been refused access to the rig for a familiarisation inspection only two days previously.

Safety fine

The brigade alleged their rescue operation was hampered because firefighters were unfamiliar with the rig's layout.

The owners, Global Marine UK and sub-contractors MacGregor Energy Services of Aberdeen, have since each been fined 50,000 for failing to ensure there was a safe working environment aboard the rig.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that a system of safety checks had not been adhered to prior to the blast and ensuing fire in July last year.

The companies admitted contravening health and safety regulations.

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