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BBC NEWS: Law chief orders rig deaths probe

BBC NEWS: Law chief orders rig deaths probe

“ The Lord Advocate said it would be in the “wider public interest” for an inquiry into the deaths of Keith Moncrieff and Sean McCue. They were killed on Shell’s Brent Bravo platform in the North Sea in September 2003. Shell was later fined £900,000.”: “Shell admitted a series of health and safety breaches and was fined a record amount on a company following a North Sea accident.”

Posted Wednesday 20 July 2005

Scotland’s senior law officer has overturned a decision not to hold a fatal accident inquiry into the deaths of two men on an oil platform.

The Lord Advocate said it would be in the “wider public interest” for an inquiry into the deaths of Keith Moncrieff and Sean McCue.

They were killed on Shell’s Brent Bravo platform in the North Sea in September 2003. Shell was later fined £900,000.

The original decision not to hold an FAI was made by Crown counsel.

The two men’s families have welcomed the intervention of the Lord Advocate Colin Boyd.

Mr McCue, 22, from Kennoway, in Fife, and Mr Moncrieff, 45, from Invergowrie, had been working on a utility leg of the platform.

Patch inspection

The two men had been asked to look at a temporary repair patch on a safety-critical pipeline in the leg. The patch had been in place for 10 months.

Gas escaped into the leg, overcoming the workers.

Shell admitted a series of health and safety breaches and was fined a record amount on a company following a North Sea accident.

The sheriff who heard the case said there had been a “substantial catalogue of errors”.

In a statement, the Crown Office said: “Crown counsel’s original decision took into account the significant inquiry that had already been made in the course of investigations leading to the successful prosecution of the employer at Stonehaven Sheriff Court in March 2005.

“While fully understanding that approach, the Lord Advocate has concluded, on a personal consideration of the case, that it is in the wider public interest for a fatal accident inquiry to be held.”

The procurator fiscal will now apply to the sheriff for an inquiry to take place.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/4692729.stm

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