Senior judge to lead inquiry into fatal factory explosion

SCOTLAND'S second most senior judge is to lead a public inquiry into a factory explosion that killed nine people and injured 33 others.

Lord Gill, the Lord Justice Clerk, will chair the inquiry into the Stockline factory disaster in Glasgow from 8 April, 2008.

In August, ICL Plastics and ICL Tech were fined 400,000 at the High Court in Glasgow after admitting health and safety breaches. The court heard that the explosion, which destroyed the factory in May 2004, was caused by a build-up of liquid petroleum gas which had leaked out of pipework installed in 1969.

There had been no risk assessment or system of inspection for a stretch of pipework which was originally above ground but was buried in 1974.

Lord Gill, a former chairman of the Scottish Law Commission, has taken part as an advocate in several major inquiries, including the Lockerbie disaster.

The Stockline inquiry will study the circumstances leading up to the disaster and make recommendations on the lessons which can be learned.

Speaking for the Stockline Support Group, Patrick McGuire of Thompsons Solicitors, said the victims' families

"have always sought to ensure that lessons are learned from this terrible tragedy; that workplaces become safer and that no other family has to endure the suffering they have gone through".