Boiler Explosion Housing Firm Fined

Pensioner Killed In Explosion


A not-for-profit housing organisation has been fined £50,000 for health and safety breaches following the death of a Gloucestershire pensioner who was killed when her boiler exploded in November last year.

Severn Vale Housing Society Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches which led to the death of 65-year-old Christine Goodall last November.

Mrs Goodall, of Twyning, Gloucestershire was killed along with her dog Kelly after water in an iron boiler which lay behind her fireplace heated up causing a catastrophic explosion.

Plumber Matthew Lee, 41, also pleaded guilty to the offence after he was commissioned to carry out work for Severn Vale.

Gloucester Crown Court judge William Hart ordered the not-for-profit organisation to pay £7,500 costs. Mr Lee was fined £7,500, with £1,500 costs.

HSE inspector Caroline Bird said: "This tragic incident has led HSE to issue a safety alert to the plumbing and heating industry and homeowners about the potential dangers of lighting a solid fuel fire when a redundant solid fuel back boiler has been left within the fireplace.

"Anyone who thinks they might have a redundant back boiler in potentially dangerous circumstances should never light a fire in the fireplace until they have sought professional advice."

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fines imposed following this horrific fatal accident.

“Those responsible for the safety of the public must take their responsibilities seriously.

“All too often, I have to help members of the public pursue their compensation claim after they have been injured or killed.”

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, our serious injury claims team could help you to claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. Visit our Fatal Accident Claims page for more information.