Centrica: Barrow gas terminal leak was 'no threat'
Last updated at 16:44, Friday, 19 October 2012
CENTRICA has moved to assure residents there was no danger posed to the wider community from a leak at its Barrow processing plant this week.
Several concerned residents have contacted the Evening Mail to question whether the company had a responsibility to alert them to the situation.
Roose Primary School, whose staff and students clearly heard the emergency alarm sounding, contacted the utility yesterday to ask why they were not notified.
However, a Centrica spokesman said the company was only required to issue public alerts when a leak spread beyond the works’ site and threatened public safety.
“This was a localised event and we assessed that the situation would remain localised to the site as a small volume of normal exhaust gases was expelled on site,” he said. “If there had been any potential for this to escalate beyond site, we have a process in place to alert the community and we would have not hesitated to do so.”
Centrica has launched an investigation into the incident, in which the gas was released at the north terminal.
Ten contractors were taken by ambulance to Furness General Hospital after complaining of breathing difficulties, sore throats and runny noses.
Workers were evacuated and the site shut down for a short time as the extent of the threat was assessed.
“(There will be) an internal investigation and a senior manager from another part of our business will lead the investigation,” the Centrica spokesman said.
“The investigation will take a few days but (it) may be a week or so before the report is concluded.
“These reports are not public as a matter of course, but we are always happy to engage with our stakeholders should they desire.”
The Environment Agency will audit Centrica’s own report and “ensure that the issues are fully addressed”.
In accordance with its environmental permit, Centrica must identify measures to prevent a repeat of the situation.
The Health and Safety Executive’s pipeline and gas unit will also conduct its own independent report into the incident.
First published at 10:31, Friday, 19 October 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
CENTRICA SPOKESPERSON says - The investigation reports are not public as a matter of couse, but we are always happy to engage with stakeholders should they desire.
SO WE HAVE IT IN WRITING FINANCIAL BACKERS COME FIRST, BEFORE THE GENERAL PUBLIC. BUT WE ALREADY KNEW THAT.
People need to stop worrying and blowing this out of all proportion, the centrica site is run by very experienced engineers and Centrica are highly commited to the welfare of its workers and the local community.The site siren will go off to do a pretend site muster to ensure the site are experienced enough if the real event ever occured. People need to calm down if it was so dangerous they would not have kept staff on the site they would of evacuated!
View all 4 comments on this article