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June 30, 2009

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Report into ICL Plastics explosion submitted to Government

The report of the joint public inquiry into the 2004 ICL Plastics factory explosion in Glasgow was delivered to ministers yesterday (1 July).

Chair of the inquiry, Lord Gill — Scotland’s second most senior judge — submitted the document to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Yvette Cooper, and Kenny MacAskill, Justice Secretary for the Scottish Government, who must now decide on publication of its findings, pursuant to the Inquiries Act 2005.

The explosion, at Grovepark Mills in Maryhills on 11 May 2004, killed nine people and injured 33. ICL Plastics and ICL Tech were subsequently fined a total of £400,000 over the incident. The aim of the inquiry (also referred to as the Stockline inquiry) was to consider safety and related issues, including regulation of the activities at Grovepark Mills, and to make recommendations in the light of the lessons identified from the causation and circumstances leading up to the incident. (Click here for our earlier report on the announcement of the inquiry.)

Both Ms Cooper and Mr MacAskill thanked Lord Gill and his team for their work, and indicated that publication of the report would not be delayed. Said Mr MacAskill: “Officials from both the Scottish Government and the DWP are working to ensure that ministers can publish it as soon as possible. The likely publication date is later this month.”

Added Ms Cooper: “The recommendations in the report are for an improved safety regime for liquefied petroleum gas, that seeks to minimse the risk of such an incident recurring in the future. This was a human tragedy. The report and its recommendations will now be considered to see what can be done to ensure better understanding and maintenance of LPG installations in places of work.”

The inquiry website is at http://www.theiclinquiry.org/index.aspx

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