Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 14:50 UK

Damages win for factory blast man

Factory blast site
Mr Bell sued his employers over the fatal blast in May 2004

A survivor of the ICL plastics factory explosion in Glasgow has won £250,000 in damages.

Gordon Bell was trapped in wreckage at the factory in Maryhill after the blast on 11 May, 2004, which killed nine people and injured more than 30.

The 48-year-old spray painter sued ICL Tech, Stockline Plastics and ICL Plastics over his ordeal.

The settlement, in which the plastics firms admitted liability, was granted at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The explosion at the factory was caused when a build-up of gas from corroded pipes ignited.

The court was told that Mr Bell suffered significant hand injuries and had continuing problems in the aftermath of the explosion.

Mr Bell's counsel, Louise Milligan, said the factory worker was thrown forward in the explosion and found himself trapped underneath wreckage, but managed to free himself.

It was an explosion that has caused huge repercussions in his life. His whole life had been changed by that moment
Louise Milligan
Mr Bell's counsel

He was trapped for about 15 minutes before he managed to climb out of the devastated building.

She said the tip of her client's thumb of his dominant right hand was amputated and others fingers were also injured. He also sustained cuts to his face.

Miss Milligan said that Mr Bell, who had worked for ICL Tech since he was 16, also suffered an "adjustment disorder" following the explosion.

She said he had been unable to return to his pre-accident type of employment because of the injury to his right hand and had been assessed as being about 25% disabled for the rest of his life.

"In the current economic climate he is not optimistic about getting alternative employment and may well have to go down the route of setting up his own business. He had worked all his adult life," she said.

"Clearly it was an explosion that has caused huge repercussions in his life. His whole life had been changed by that moment. He felt it particularly strongly in a psychological sense."

Lord Uist refused a motion for an additional fee for lawyers acting for Mr Bell in the case.

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