Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 16:55 UK

Factory survivor's plane hit fear

Aerial shot of explosion aftermath
Nine people were killed and 33 injured in the explosion in 2004

A survivor of a factory explosion in Glasgow which killed nine people has told a public inquiry he thought the building had been hit by a plane.

David Andrews, 54, described how the ICL/Stockline building was flattened in a gas explosion on 11 May, 2004.

ICL Plastics and another firm, ICL Tech, were fined a total of 400,000 for breaching health and safety laws.

The inquiry, chaired by senior Scottish judge Lord Gill, will look into the facts and make recommendations.

It is being held in the Maryhill Community Hall, close to the site of the factory, and is expected to last 12 weeks.

The opening day was attended by about a dozen friends and family of workers involved.

Legal representatives for the ICL group and the Health and Safety Executive were also there.

The big sliding doors of our building buckled. Initially we did not see anything for the dust
David Andrews
former ICL employee
A one-minute silence was held before the opening of the inquiry at the request of Lord Gill who called for "a few moments of reflection and prayer" for those killed or injured.

The names of all those involved were read out by Roy Martin QC, who is leading evidence at the hearing.

Witness statements from five workers were read out by junior counsel Kenny McBrearty.

One of these was by David Andrews, who worked for ICL for 12 years loading the ovens with sheets of plastic.

It described how he was working in a separate building when he heard the blast.

His statement said: "The big, sliding doors of our building buckled. Initially we did not see anything for the dust.

"I then saw the building had collapsed. I thought maybe a plane had hit the building."

Mr Andrews said he saw colleagues coming out covered in dust and saw a female worker screaming and crying.

A total of 56 people were caught up in the blast, with nine killed and more than 30 seriously injured.


SEE ALSO
Factory death blast probe begins
02 Jul 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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