HC Deb 12 March 1969 vol 779 cc308-9W
104. Mr. Galbraith

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity whether, in view of the closeness of houses to the gasholder, she is satisfied with the safety arrangements at the gas works at Kelvindale, where a fire occurred on 9th February; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Fernyhough

I understand the concern which has been caused by the gas works fire to which the hon. Member refers. Because of this concern I think the House will wish to know that the view of Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate, which is supported by very long operational experience, is that water-sealed gas holders of the type involved in this accident are very safe indeed so far as explosion risks are concerned. I have received a report from the District Inspector of Factories concerned, and I am satisfied that there was, in fact, no likelihood of a serious incident in this particular case. I would, however, like to add that, in my opinion, the immediate precautionary action taken by the police in advising the temporary evacuation of nearby homes was wise in the circumstances.