Cotswold Airport's owner fined over firefighter's death

Steve Mills - Cotswold Airport Steve Mills was also a retained firefighter in Wiltshire

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An airport has been fined over the death of its fire chief who was killed when a gas cylinder hit him on the head when it suddenly discharged.

Steve Mills, 45, was working at Cotswold Airport, near Cirencester, when he died in April 2011.

If gas cylinder removal work at the airport had been suitably assessed his death could have been prevented, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

The operator of the airport, Kemble Air Services Ltd, was fined £75,000.

The company was found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations at an earlier hearing.

Speaking after sentencing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Ian Whittles said: "Kemble Air Services failed to ensure the safety of its employees and others who were carrying out work to decommission fire suppression systems.

"This incident could have been prevented if Kemble Air Services had the appropriate oversight and control of the project to develop the training facility.

"They should have ensured that the work was suitably planned following a full assessment of the risks associated with the work.

"Sadly, their failing to suitably assess the risks and implement the necessary controls led to the death of Mr Mills."

Mr Mills, from Malmesbury, had worked as station officer at the airport for two years and was also a retained firefighter with Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

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