Frustration at fatal fire report delay - The Leamington Observer

Frustration at fatal fire report delay

Leamington Editorial 29th Mar, 2024   0

A SOLICITOR has voiced frustration at a report into a devastating Leamington factory fire being delayed yet again

The massive blaze in August 2021 destroyed Leeson Polyurethanes and claimed the life of employee David Boswell.

The report was originally due for completion in December 2022 but further delays mean that it will now not be ready until May at the earliest, with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advising even this date is not set in stone.

Claire Kirwan, who is bringing civil claims on behalf of some of those affected by the fire, is calling for more urgency from the HSE to conclude its findings.

Claire, a partner and head of the personal injury department at Leamington law firm Blythe Liggins, said:

“It could now be almost three years since the fire before we get the answers we desperately need.

“This also means further ongoing uncertainty for those affected by the fire. Notwithstanding the complexities of the matter, it does seem to be taking an incredibly long time.”

It is understood the delays are due to a variety of reasons, the main one being the investigation team hav not addressed all of the issues required.

They have had to carry out further enquiries as a result and an additional specialist was appointed as late as last October.

Claire added: “I fully appreciate all processes must be adhered to, but it is very disappointing that we are facing yet another delay to the report’s publication.

“Once again, I would urge the HSE to treat this report with urgency so that we can start to bring closure for those that were affected so badly and continue to be affected.”

The fire at the Juno Drive factory sent plumes of thick black smoke billowing into the air which could be seen from miles around, and explosions could also be heard as the fire raged.

Firefighters from Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and even as far as Manchester were brought in to help Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service tackle the blaze.

Nearby residents were urged to stay indoors and close windows due to the factory containing chemicals, while homes within a 100 metres were evacuated.

Claire Kirwan has expressed further frustration at a delayed report into a fatal factory fire in Leamington.

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