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National Freight Corporation, Sheffield (Fire)

Volume 77: debated on Friday 26 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment in connection with the fire at the warehouse of the National Freight Corporation in Sheffield on 14 to 16 December 1984, if he will list the dates on which witness statements were taken by the Health and Safety Executive; which specialist branches of the Health and Safety Executive have become involved in the Health and Safety Executive investigation and on which date each specialist branch first became involved; and if any photographs of the fire were taken by the Health and Safety Executive on and after 14 December 1984.

The Health and Safety Executive began its investigation into the causes of the fire and the reasons for its rapid spread on the day after the fire occurred. The investigation was subsequently broadened to include the circumstances in which the fire was fought. The actual fire was not photographed by HSE photographers but photographs were taken subsequently of damage to buildings.On 17 December 1984 civil engineering inspectors of HSE were called in to advise on the stability of the damaged structure. Other branches of HSE including the field consultant groups, Employment Medical Advisory Service and the research division have been brought in to the investigation as required. A number of witnesses have been interviewed and inquiries continue. The HSE will publish its report as soon as possible but a thorough inquiry of this magnitude and preparation of a report for publication takes several months.