Frustration voiced at wait for report into massive Leamington factory fire - The Leamington Observer

Frustration voiced at wait for report into massive Leamington factory fire

Leamington Editorial 12th Oct, 2023   0

A SOLICITOR has voiced her frustration at still having no answers more than two years after a devastating factory fire in Leamington.

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

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

Claire, a partner and head of the personal injury department at Blythe Liggins, said: “The lack of answers means ongoing uncertainty for those affected by the fire.

“While the HSE have advised that this investigation is not typical due to the size and complexity, it does seem to be taking a very long time.

“Throughout my 25 year legal career, I’ve not known a Health and Safety Executive report to take more than two years.

“We’ve been waiting for this report and we’re more than 24 months down the line and it’s still not finalised.”

“The work the HSE does is very important but we are disappointed that this report is taking so long.

“I would urge the HSE to really push things forward so that we can have some much-needed answers for those that were affected so badly and continue to be affected.”

The HSE is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.

A HSE spokesperson told The Observer “This was a complex and challenging incident for HSE to investigate, working jointly with other agencies including Warwickshire Police and Fire and Rescue Service and involving a range of HSE specialist staff to help to identify the root causes of the incident and assess whether health and safety standards had been breached.

“It was made more challenging by the destruction of the factory and significant time needed to make the scene safe before a thorough investigation could commence.

“We are now considering the investigation findings and what enforcement action may be appropriate and will continue to keep the next of kin fully updated on the progress of the case.”

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.



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