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Explosion, Great Oakley

Volume 480: debated on Wednesday 8 November 1950

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(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can give the House any information about the explosion which occurred yesterday at Bramble Island, near Harwich, Essex.

I regret to have to tell the House that an explosion occurred yesterday in a mixing house in an explosives factory at Bramble Island near Great Oakley resulting in the death of four persons and injury to a number of others. I have instructed one of His Majesty's Inspectors of Explosives to investigate the cause of the accident: the inquiry was opened this morning.

The House will join me in expressing sympathy with the bereaved relatives and in the hope that the injured may speedily be restored.

May I ask the Home Secretary two short questions? First, will the inquiry include a very strict investigation of whether there was sabotage? Second, will he see that the dependants of those who were killed are properly provided for and that those who are injured have sustenance and attention until they get quite well?

With regard to the first part of the supplementary question, it will be the duty of the inspector to endeavour to ascertain the cause of the explosion, and if any individuals are personally responsible it will then be the duty of the appropriate authorities, including the police, to endeavour to find those persons and bring them to account. With regard to the other question, there are, of course, arrangements with regard to industrial injuries and so on which will apply to this accident.