28 Apr 2011

Inquest called into coolstore explosion death

1:00 pm on 28 April 2011

The Hamilton coroner will hold an inquest into the death of the the fire officer who died in a coolstore explosion at Tamahere three years ago.

Derek Lovell died and seven other officers were seriously injured when leaking gas ignited while they were investigating an automatic fire alarm at the coolstore.

On Thursday the coroner, Gordon Matenga, held a pre-inquest conference to hear from interested parties who wish to give evidence at the inquest.

Mr Matenga says he will use extensive reports commissioned by the Department of Labour and the Fire Service after the incident as part of his inquiry.

He says the police looked at laying criminal charges following the explosion but decided against it, leaving it to the Department of Labour to prosecute under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.