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Cement firm fined for explosion

A Scottish cement firm has been fined after an explosion meant buildings up to two kilometres away were covered in cement powder.

CEBO UK, based in Peterhead, was found guilty of breaching its Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) permit at Peterhead Sheriff Court.

The firm was ordered to pay costs and a fine totalling £14,000 for the accident, which happened on May 28, 2008, when a silo on the site broke due to lack of maintenance.

As a result it belched out five tonnes of cement powder on to roadways, buildings, boats, vehicles and people around the site.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency investigated the blast and found silo maintenance records were not up-to-date and, as a result, it should not have been in use after February 2008.

The hatch lid retaining brackets were, the court heard, ‘badly corroded’ and were in a ‘poor state of repair’ which contributed to the failure of the silo.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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