Inquiry call as Shell admits safety breach in which two died
A UNION leader yesterday called for a fatal accident inquiry after an oil company admitted charges related to an offshore incident in which two men died.
Jake Molloy, of the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC), said questions remained unanswered about events leading up to the incident on board the Brent Bravo platform, in which Keith Moncrieff and Sean McCue lost their lives following an escape of gas.
He was speaking after the oil company Shell admitted breaching three health and safety charges.
Mr Moncrieff, 45, from Tayside, and Mr McCue, 22, from Fife, were in a utility leg on the North Sea platform, 116 miles north-east of Lerwick, when the gas escaped.
Sixty non-essential staff were evacuated from the platform by helicopter after the gas was detected and a doctor was flown in from another platform to treat the two, but they later died.
Mr Molloy said: "It is no surprise that Shell have pled guilty because by doing so it avoids a lengthy, drawn-out and quite possibly exposed hearing, which some operators are keen to avoid.
"This only serves to stifle and prevent the detail of what occurred, both in the run-up to the incident and the incident itself, and these are questions that the families and the workers would really like answered."
He added that a fatal accident inquiry should now be held to establish what happened.
Shell admitted the amended charges at Stonehaven Sheriff Court yesterday. Their case was deferred until next month.
A spokesman said the firm had pleaded guilty to three amended charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act in relation to the incident. He said the company could not give out any further details as legal proceedings were ongoing.
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