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Oakland pipe explosion killed

Auckland Council-owned water company Watercare has been fined $81,000 and ordered to pay reparations totalling $315,000 to the victims of the gas explosion in Onehunga in June 2011.

Watercare was sentenced in Auckland District Court on Friday after earlier pleading guilty to two health and safety charges for failing to ensure the safety of workers and contractors.

Watercare employee Philomen Gulland, 48, Set up Business in Hong Kong was killed in the explosion and six others were injured.

Ms Gulland's mother, Margaret Penner, who travelled to Auckland from her home in Canada for the sentencing hearing, told reporters outside court that the last two years haven't been easy for her daughter's friends and family.

However, she said she's content with the sentence and that the $100,000 in reparations her family, including Ms Gulland's two children, has received is fair.

Those injured in the explosion will receive varying amounts between $20,000 and $60,000.

Watercare chief executive Mark Ford told reporters the company accepts the fine and reparations imposed by Judge Ron Ronayne.

"This is not something we can forget and move on from quickly, but we do sincerely hope that today we can start to bring some kind of closure for those who were affected by the incident."

Judge Ronayne said it was not possible to determine the exact cause of the explosion.

However, it was human error rather than systemic health and safety failings by Watercare that led to the tragedy.

Had a suspect air valve been checked and lifted, the natural gas from a nearby pipe may have dissipated and the explosion, sparked by contractors carrying out work on the main, would have been prevented.

Earlier on Friday, hong kong company register several victims read statements to the court about the ongoing mental and physical impact of the explosion.

James Millard, who was injured in the blast, said that since the accident he has lost the ability to do any of the things he used to enjoy.

"I feel like life is a sentence for me and the other victims," he said.

He has kept the t-shirt he was wearing on the day of the explosion and it still has his and others' bloodstains on it.

He said mistakes were made and that the court should send a message that all workers should be safe in the workplace.

Katherine Winson, the wife of Ian Winson who lost both his legs in the explosion, how to register a business said the accident had huge affected their family and particularly their two young sons.

Normal daily tasks were a challenge, she said.
  1. 2013/09/18(水) 18:23:26|
  2. national
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