Page last updated at 20:31 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 21:31 UK

Blast company 'flaunted' safety


Rosemary Doyle and Kirsteen Curry, who lost relatives, said someone should be held responsible

Relatives of those who died in the Stockline explosion have accused the company who operated the factory of "flaunting" healthy and safety.

Speaking after the publication of an independent report some of the bereaved families said the tragedy should have resulted in more criminal prosecutions.

Nine people died and 33 were injured when the premises, operated by ICL Plastics, collapsed on 11 May, 2004.

Lord Gill, who led the public inquiry, said it was an "avoidable disaster".

A statement from relatives of Annette Doyle, Kenneth Murray, Thomas McAuley, Tracey McErlane and Anne Trench said: "Our lives changed forever on that day."

Five years on, you just learn to live with it and come to terms with it but there is no closure
Rosemary Doyle
Mother of victim

"Grandchildren, nephews and nieces have been born, children have grown up and gone to school, and sadly other family members have passed away without knowing what caused the deaths of those dear to them."

Lord Gill's report, published on Thursday, said the explosion happened because a pipe carrying liquid petroleum gas into the factory was "out of sight and out of mind".

He made a series of safety recommendations aimed at preventing a similar tragedy.

Rosemary Doyle, who lost her daughter Annette, said: "Five years on, you just learn to live with it and come to terms with it but there is no closure.

"If this public inquiry can prevent someone going through what these families went through at least some good will have come out of it."

'Buck passed'

She said both the firm and the Health and Safety Executive were to blame - the firm for "flaunting" health and safety and the HSE for letting them do it.

Ms Doyle said the factory explosion should have resulted in criminal prosecution.

She added: "The sad thing is when it happens at work, it just becomes a health and safety issue.

"If someone goes out in a car with faulty brakes and kills someone, they will be taken to court.

"I think directors must be held responsible - no-one has been held responsible for this accident and the buck has been passed."

Kirsteen Murray, who lost her brother Kenneth in the tragedy, said: "What has happened for the last five years has been hard and we just hope that what has happened today will bring at least a tiny bit of usefulness.

"The report has been fantastic. We just need to hope it does not get buried for years, and that something happens quickly."

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