The Times: Inquest into oil rig deaths opens: “Earlier this year Shell was fined £900,000 after admitting health and safety breaches in relation to the incident.”: November 01, 2005
A worker asked to repair a leaking pipe on a North Sea oil platform nine months before two of his colleagues died after a huge gas escape on the rig was not told that the pipe contained hydrocarbons, an inquiry was told yesterday.
Thomas Wotherspoon, a maintenance scheduler on Shell’s Brent Bravo rig, said he was told that the dripping pipe contained only oily water.
He told a fatal accident inquiry that he put a temporary repair on the leak, but may have taken a different course of action had he known that the pipe contained potentially hazardous material. Mr Wotherspoon was giving evidence on the first day of the inquest into the deaths of Sean McCue, 22, from Kennoway in Fife, and Keith Moncrieff, 45, from Invergowrie, near Dundee.
The two men died on September 11, 2003, when a broken valve on the installation’s utility leg led to them being overcome by 2.5 million tonnes of hydrocarbons. They had gone to inspect the repaired pipe.
Earlier this year Shell was fined £900,000 after admitting health and safety breaches in relation to the incident. The inquiry continues.
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