A loss that shook the community: the victims of the Stockline disaster are remembered 10 years on

Factory workers killed in a gas explosion 10 years ago will be remembered at a memorial today.

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Nine people died in the blast at the Stockline plastics factory in Maryhill, Glasgow, and 33 others were seriously injured.

A build-up of leaking gas from corroded underground pipes was to blame for the disaster which provoked a country-wide pipe replacement programme.

Victims' families and community members will attend a memorial at Maryhill Community Central Halls, close to the former factory site, this afternoon.

Marie Murray, who lost her husband Kenny, 45, said on Friday: "Because of the tragedy, I lost my husband, my two daughters and son lost their dad and he was robbed of the chance to see them grow up and his two grandchildren born.

"Kenny was a wonderful husband and a great dad, but also a loving son and brother.

"You cannot lose somebody like him without it being felt throughout the extended family and it is a loss we have to suffer every day, even now, 10 years later."

A public inquiry into the blast on May 11 2004 found that ICL Plastics Ltd and subsidiary ICL Tech Ltd had not identified or understood the risks associated with the gas piping and that the disaster could have been avoided.

The companies were each fined £200,000.

The UK Government later announced measures to strengthen gas safety on industrial sites, including the replacement of all buried metal pipework carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by 2015. Polyethylene pipes will be used instead.

Today's memorial will be attended by Maryhill MSP Patricia Ferguson, who said her thoughts were with the bereaved families and those who were injured.

She said: "No-one should lose their life just because they went to work but that is what happened here and in too many other situations in Scotland.

"It is important that we also recognise the work of the emergency services, particularly the fire and rescue services who worked tirelessly for four days in appalling conditions to rescue the injured and recover the dead.

"Also the community of Maryhill, which rallied round, providing support to the bereaved families and those who worked on the site of the explosion.''

The £1 million investigation that followed the blast was the biggest of its kind ever undertaken by the Scottish authorities.

It emerged that the explosion occurred in the basement, where gas leaking from a corroded join on a pipe carrying LPG to an oven on the first floor had collected.

Experts said it may have been ignited by something as simple as a light being switched on.

The pipework, installed back in 1969, had gone unchecked since being buried underground when the factory yard was raised several years later.

A spokeswoman for ICL Plastics Ltd said: "The 10 years that have passed have not diminished the sadness we feel in remembering our friends and colleagues who lost their lives. Our thoughts continue to be with their families and friends and with those who survived."

Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Alasdair Hay said: "The 10th anniversary of this disaster is a moment for us all to remember the nine people who were killed and reflect on the impact on survivors and those who lost loved-ones.

"We will never forget the harrowing images of a devastated workplace and rescuers risking their own lives to reach people who were missing, wounded and trapped."

"The bravery and professionalism of the emergency responders was very apparent and the importance of developing and maintaining those life-saving skills is something that can never be overstated."


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