Damages awarded to factory blast man

A man who survived a devastating explosion in a Glasgow factory has been awarded compensation in the amount of £250,000.

The ICL plastics factory in Maryhill, Glasgow, had an explosion on 11 May 2004, which killed nine people and injured more than thirty.

Gordon Bell, aged 48 had worked at the factory as a spray painter and was trapped inside wreckage at the factory after the blast. After extensive investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, the cause of the blast was ascertained as a build up of gas leaked from corroded pipes which then ignited.

Mr Bell was trapped beneath the wreckage for over fifteen minutes before managing to scramble his way out. In the blast he suffered significant injuries to his hand, his thumb was amputated, and his other fingers were also damaged.

He sued the owners of the factory, ICL Tech, Stockline Plastics and ICL Plastics. At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Mr Bell’s counsel Louise Milligan said that the factory worker had been thrown forward in the explosion and found himself trapped beneath wreckage. She told the court how he freed himself from the wreckage after fifteen minutes and suffered cuts to his face in addition to the injuries he sustained to his hand.

Miss Milligan told the court that Mr Bell, who had worked for ICL Tech for over thirty years, also suffered from an “adjustment disorder” following the explosion. Mr Bell has been unable to return to his pre-accident type of employment because of the injuries to his right hand and has been assessed as being 25 per cent disabled for the rest of his life.

Miss Milligan said: “In the current economic climate he is not optimistic about getting alternative employment and may well have to go down the route of setting up his own business. He had worked all his adult life. Clearly it was an explosion that has caused huge repercussions in his life. His whole life had been changed by that moment he felt it particularly strongly in a psychological sense.”


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