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The Scotsman: Inquiry: Oil deaths were avoidable

The deaths of two oil workers on board a North Sea rig were “entirely avoidable”, an inquiry has heard.
A series of failures by oil giant Shell had led to Keith Moncrieff and Sean McCue losing their lives, the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) heard.
Mr Moncrieff, 45, of Invergowrie, near Dundee, and 22-year-old Mr McCue, of Kennoway in Fife, died on a utility leg of the company's Brent Bravo platform on September 11, 2003.
The pair had gone to inspect a temporary repair on a leaking pipe when they were overcome by a release of hydrocarbon gas.
The FAI, which began at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last October, was ordered by Lord Advocate Colin Boyd.
During closing submissions on Monday procurator fiscal Ernest Barbour said: “The deaths on the Brent Bravo of Sean McCue and Keith Moncrieff could and should have been avoided. The tragic events that occurred were entirely avoidable.”
He added that this was due to Shell's failures to follow certain procedures and are “fundamentally flawed thinking” in the system being used.
The inquiry had earlier heard that a temporary patch had been placed on the leaking pipe nearly a year before the incident on the platform.
When Mr Moncrieff and Mr McCue went to inspect it, a broken valve led to the release of up to 2.5 tonnes of gas. “This whole tragedy may have been avoided if the patch had been replaced earlier,” said Mr Barbour.
He added that some workers believed the pipe had only contained “oily water” and that nothing had been done in the past to try and fix the damaged valve despite it having a history of failure in the past.

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