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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 10:49 GMT
Blast inquiry details announced
Scene of the factory explosion
The explosion claimed the lives of nine people
The details of a joint public inquiry into the Stockline factory blast in Glasgow have been announced by the Scottish and UK governments.

It will look into the circumstances leading up to the blast in 2004, consider health and safety issues and make recommendations.

Nine people died in the explosion and 33 were injured.

Owners and operators ICL Plastics and ICL Tech were later fined 400,000 for health and safety breaches.

Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini, Scotland's senior law officer, and Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain said they expected the inquiry to report as soon as possible.

'Focused' inquiry

Ms Angiolini said: "The events of the 11 May 2004 have a continuing impact on the lives of many people, on all those who were working in the factory that day, on the dozens of people who were injured, and especially on those who lost a loved one.

"This public inquiry will provide an opportunity, not only to fully air the circumstances which led up to that incident, but also to make sure that lessons are learned to help prevent another tragedy like this occurring."

Lord Gill, Scotland's second most senior judge, will chair the inquiry, under 2005 UK legislation, and the QC Roy Martin has been appointed as counsel.

Mr Hain said: "Now that we have a chair in place, and an agreement on the terms of reference, we can ensure that the inquiry will be focused on the events, and the families will not have to wait unduly for answers."

The terms of reference for the inquiry are:

  • To inquire into the circumstances leading up to the incident on 11 May 2004 at the premises occupied by the ICL group of companies, Grovepark Mills, Maryhill, Glasgow.
  • To consider the safety and related issues arising from such an inquiry, including the regulation of the activities at Grovepark Mills.
  • To make recommendations in the light of the lessons identified from the causation and circumstances leading up to the incident.
  • To report as soon as practicable.

Glasgow Liberal Democrat MSP Robert Brown said: "I hope it will identify lessons about both culture and practice in Scottish workplaces which will prevent such accidents in the future.

"The inquiry has to have as broad a remit as possible, if it is to bring closure to the families of those who died.

"It is crucial that industry across Scotland learns the lessons from the Stockline tragedy to prevent a similar disaster in the future."

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