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Diver Death Danger "Unforeseen"

Inquest into Death at Work


An engineer overseeing the inspection of a lock where a diver was crushed after a dam burst has admitted that the potential dangers of the water pressure had "not occurred" to him.

David Moore, 29, was servicing the Upper Lode lock gate, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, four years ago, when the "primitive" dam failed and he became trapped under 3.5 metres of water.

At the inquest into his death, operations engineer Roger Byrne said he had not considered the risk of pressure differential.

The inquest jury heard that the temporary dam beside which Mr Moore was working, had been sealed only by a "hessian sausage" of sacking.

Mr Byrne told the hearing at the Manor by the Lake Hotel near Cheltenham: "The method had been used successfully for 40 years. One member of the direct labour team had been there for 35 years, the others for 20 years. Taking advice from them, it had been used before."

Gloucestershire coroner Alan Crickmore asked Mr Byrne what calculations he had done to ascertain the likely stability and strength of the hessian seal.

Mr Bryne, who has worked from British Waterways since 1982, replied: "I didn't do any calculations... to my knowledge there were none."

The Crown Prosecution Service decided no criminal charges were justified, following the death of Mr Moore, of Southsea, Hampshire.

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