Kemble Air Services Ltd charged with health and safety failings after Malmesbury firefighter Steve Mills' death
5:57pm Monday 9th September 2013 in News
THE company behind Cotswold Airport is to be prosecuted following the death of its fire chief in a gas explosion.
Steve Mills, a retained firefighter at Malmesbury and fire chief of Cotswold Airport, died on April 8 2011 when a gas cylinder discharged as he moved it. The force of the gas caused the cylinder to spin around wildly, breaking Steve's ankle and hitting him on the head. The blow killed him instantly.
Now Kemble Air Services Ltd has been told it will stand trial on March 17 next year to face two charges of failing to make suitable and sufficient risk assessments.
The case was listed for a brief preliminary hearing at Gloucester crown court today before being adjourned for a trial next March.
After a four day inquest last year a jury returned a verdict of accidental death but found that delivery and handling of the cylinder had not been done in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions or the Ministry of Defence regulations.
The inquest heard it appeared that Mr Mills, who lived in Malmesbury, had been hit on the head by the 120 kilogramme cylinder of high pressure gas when it discharged violently as he was handling it.
He had acquired three large steel containers from the Ministry of Defence at Ashchurch which he had planned to use for fire training at the airfield by Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.