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Microbiological Research Establishment

Volume 932: debated on Thursday 26 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the inquiry into the incident in November 1976 at the Microbiological Research Establishment, Porton, involving Mr. G. S. Platt.

LocationEstimated Cost (£s) (1)InquiriesRecruits
CountyTownService1976–771976–771976–77
AvonBristolAll Services202,17016,209655
Weston-super-MareArmy11,8951,46280
BathArmy10,3311,60057
BedfordshireBedfordArmy6,89645756
BedfordRAF58,2541,144100
LutonAll Services80,9863,549368
BerkshireNewburyArmy12,36858035
ReadingNavy28,3611,40852
ReadingArmy43,6151,998130
ReadingRAF59,8441,938114
SloughArmy21,7271,01283
BuckinghamshireAylesburyArmy7,15817750
High WycombeArmy7,04213240
Milton KeynesAll Services22,109852 (4)41
CambridgeshireCambridgeNavy/RAF37,1041,83097
CambridgeArmy52,722537114
PeterboroughNavy / RAF33,3191,321150
PeterboroughArmy12,980559146
CheshireCreweArmy6,931578113
ChesterArmy36,041728175
WarringtonArmy18,44290095
ClevelandHartlepoolNavy35,6991,580271
HartlepoolArmy8,87462458
MiddlesbroughArmy/RAF108,9863,234382

The board of inquiry has completed its investigations. It concluded that there was no evidence of faulty experimental procedures or equipment, that the actions taken immediately following the incident were in accordance with the Establishment's safety regulations, and that the actions taken proved adequate. It has recommended, however, that, before new work on communicable high risk pathogens is undertaken, "dummy runs" of the emergency procedures and medical control measures to be adopted in case of a laboratory accident should be carried out in conjunction with the Medical Officer for Environmental Health and the Department of Health and Social Security who would be informed of any accident without delay. This recommendation is accepted by the Ministry of Defence and will be implemented immediately.