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Home Evacuated During Gas Leak Fire

Industrial Accident


A spark igniting leaking gas probably started a major fire that destroyed workshops in west Somerset, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have said.

Fears that gas cylinders could explode prompted homes to be evacuated and a 200m exclusion zone around the buildings at Roadwater, near Washford.

At the height of the fire more than 50 firefighters were involved. One man was treated for burns but his injuries were not believed serious.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "Whilst this was a serious industrial accident the result could have been disastrous.

"Those responsible for manufacturing, storing, processing or housing explosive materials have a duty of care to ensure that the safety of workers and the public is protected.

"Sadly, in this case, something went wrong.

"I represent many people who have been injured or killed in work accidents."

Mr Urpeth represented over 75 workers and many residents who were injured in the 2001 blast at the Killingholme refinery when over 170 tonnes of liquid petroleum gas caught fire. Conoco-Phillips, who owned the plant, was eventually fined £1m for breaching health and safety regulations after the explosion at its Humber refinery.