An LPG supplier was fined after a large leakage from a tanker caused the emergency services to evacuate 15 people from nearby houses.
Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 28 October 2012, a LPG tanker vehicle was offloading propane LPG into a number of smaller LPG vessels when the tanker driver heard a loud bang and saw LPG gas vapour coming from the tanker’s underside.
The driver initiated an emergency shutdown, but it failed to fully close the main isolation valve on the vessel and LPG liquid gas vapour continued to leak from a broken flange on the pump.
The emergency services attended and set up an exclusion zone that resulted in residents from nearby houses being evacuated. The tanker lost around 11,700l (6 tonnes) of propane LPG.
On Thursday 8 October, Flogas Britain, of Ryans Way, Syston, Leicester was fined a total of £25,000 and ordered to pay £8,673.12 in costs after pleading guilty to offences under s.2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
HSE inspector Mahesh Mahey said: “This was a serious and dangerous occurrence. If the LPG liquid and gas had ignited there would probably have been a large fire or explosion, which may have endangered the lives of the fire service and the Flogas employee”.
A Flogas spokesperson commented: “Flogas can confirm that it has pleaded guilty in court to two charges brought by the Health & Safety Executive arising from an unplanned release of liquefied petroleum gas from one of the company’s road tanker vehicles in Powys, Wales, in October 2012. The company has cooperated fully with the HSE during the course of its investigation into the incident.
“Flogas takes the health and safety of our employees, our customers and the general public very seriously. Immediately following the incident, we carried out a thorough review of our tanker inspection and maintenance regimes. We have subsequently have made further engineering enhancements to the safety systems on our vehicles as part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining a good safety record.”