DCSIMG

Prosecutors look at Edinburgh Legionnaires’ report

The outbreak occurred in Edinburgh Picture:  Neil Hanna

The outbreak occurred in Edinburgh Picture: Neil Hanna

  • by LUCY CHRISTIE
 

PROSECUTORS are to consider a report into a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease two years ago.

Four people died and 45 others needed hospital treatment after contracting the disease in Edinburgh in June 2012.

Following an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has submitted its findings to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

A dedicated health and safety unit will consider the report.

Cooling towers in the south-west of Edinburgh have previously been identified as a possible source of the Legionella bacteria.

A total of 92 people were affected by the outbreak, which cost NHS Lothian £725,800.

An HSE spokeswoman said: “HSE has submitted some reports to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and there are others in the process of being sent. HSE’s investigation continues.”

A spokesman for COPFS confirmed the HSE was in the process of submitting a number of reports on the circumstances of the outbreak to its health and safety division.

He said: “As in all cases, the COPFS will give full and careful consideration to all of the facts and circumstances.

“Where there is sufficient credible evidence of a crime, the matter will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.”

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and is caught by inhaling small droplets of water, suspended in the air, containing harmful levels of Legionella bacteria.

The bacteria is common in rivers and ponds but exposure is more likely from water systems such as cooling towers and spa pools.

The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are similar to those of flu and include high temperature, a cough, muscle pain and headaches.

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page