Inquiry into fatal explosion at chemical plant almost complete

THE Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is close to completing its probe into a fatal explosion at a Cork chemical plant almost two years ago.

Production operator Liam Nodwell, 58, from Church Hill, Glanmire in Cork, died when a chemical blast ripped through a tower block production building at the Corden PharmaChem plant at Little Island in the early hours of April 28, 2008.

The blast, which occurred at the beginning of a chemical mixing process, also injured five other employees – one seriously.

The fatal blast was the worst of three accidents at the plant since March of that year.

The inquest into Mr Nodwell’s death has been mentioned and adjourned several times over the last 18 months.

However, at the latest sitting of the city coroner’s court, coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane, said the HSA has informed her that it is close to completing its investigation.

It is expected the file will then be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.

Dr Cullinane adjourned the inquest for mention again in six months.

Last July, the HSA took legal action against Corden Pharma Ltd, trading as Corden Pharmachem, with registered office at 90 South Mall, Cork, arising from two separate explosions at the pharmaceutical plant which occurred on March 2 and on March 8, 2008.

The firm was fined €7,000 and ordered to pay more than €6,000 in legal costs last September after pleading guilty to three health and safety offences arising out of the explosions.

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