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BP spokesman Bill Moore
"We're very disappointed that we've had another incident"
 real 28k

BBC Scotland's Gillian Sharp reports
"The local MP is renewing calls for a review of safety"
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Saturday, 10 June, 2000, 08:05 GMT 09:05 UK
Second emergency at BP plant
Grangemouth refinery
Fourteen fire engines called to plant
An investigation has been promised after a second major incident at BP's Grangemouth refinery in three days.

A fire broke out at the plant at about 0330BST on Saturday and 14 fire engines were sent to bring it under control. No-one was injured.

The blaze occurred in one of the units used to refine oil at the site.

Site road block
Emergency teams said "no risk to public"
BP said it was treating the incident "very seriously" but the company denied there was any risk to the public despite calls for a full review of safety.

BP spokesman, Bill Moore, said the fire had been "sizeable" with flames clearly visible to those on the huge complex near Falkirk.

He said: "We don't know what caused this fire but we will be launching a major investigation and are treating it very seriously.

"Everyone has been accounted for as safe and that is the main thing.

"We are very disappointed that we have had two incidents in the space of a week. We take our reputation very seriously and we accept this doesn't do our reputation any good.

Grangemouth's recent problems
29 July, 1999
Complete power failure
20 November, 1999
Problem with catalytic cracker, blow-out followed
25 November, 1999 Problem in a gas compressor, out of action for 10 days
26 January, 2000
Two boilers broken, major incident control committee on alert
29 May, 2000
Complete power failure, MICC on alert
7 June, 2000
High pressure pipe fracture, massive escape of steam
"We want to learn lessons from what happened."

A spokesman for Central Scotland Fire Service said: "Smoke from the fire is diminishing and there is no risk to the public."

An independent investigation team was being set up to look into what had happened.

On Wednesday, an explosion in a steam pipe at the complex led to calls from the local MP, Michael Connarty, for a re-examination of safety. Mr Connarty has now renewed those calls.

The Falkirk East Labour MP said the incident was the seventh at the complex since last July and came just hours after he had questioned managers of the BP refinery about the steam pipe incident on Wednesday night.

He said: "It is actually beyond belief. All of the things we talked about over the last two days with the management and all the promises that were made.

Michael Connarty
Michael Connarty MP: "Enraged"
"The first piece of equipment they try to start up and they have a major fault. From what I'm told it's a serious fire."

The MP said the blaze would cost the company "millions" and cause fresh alarm among people living in nearby Grangemouth, although he stressed there was no risk to people in the town.

He said: "I'm enraged about this. They said they had a plan of action for safe operation.

"The question is, was their inch-by-inch check good enough? Was the planning competent and the people running it skilled enough to know what they are doing?

"There is something going wrong in the planning and implementation process. They need to get that right."

He said he was seeking a futher meeting with managers and warned: "I'm going for them big-time."

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See also:

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Refinery cancer link dismissed
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09 Nov 98 | The Company File
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09 Jun 00 | Scotland
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