Leeds & West Yorkshire

Andrew Jones Pies fine for fatal gas oven explosion

Media captionDavid Cole was killed in 2009 when the explosion blew the large oven door off its hinges

A firm has been fined £250,000 for safety offences after a gas explosion in an industrial bakery oven killed a man and badly injured another.

Andrew Jones Pies, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, is now in administration, but was told to pay £124,896 in costs at York Crown Court.

David Cole, 37, was killed in 2009 when the explosion blew the large oven door off its hinges in April 2009.

The judge said the company had "failed dismally".

Critical flashpoint

Judge Kearl, QC, said although the company was not in a position to pay the fines his judgement reflected the level of its failings.

The explosion, in Old Leeds Road, happened after Mr Cole apparently made repeated attempts to light the 30-year-old oven unaware gas was building up to a critical flashpoint inside the baking chamber said the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

When the gas did ignite, the blast blew the oven door off its hinges hitting Mr Cole.

The baker, who was standing in front of the oven, was hit by the door and then trapped when part of the roof collapsed.

Safety breaches

Mr Cole, a father of two from Halifax, had worked for the company for 12 years and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Marcus Cartwright, of Huddersfield, was also badly injured.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court found the company guilty of three health and safety breaches last month.

According to John Micklethwaite, of the HSE, the judge said Mr Cole was not at fault.

Mr Micklethwaite added: "The explosion could have been avoided if the correct lighting-up procedures had been followed."

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