16 May 2011

Inquest into coolstore death set for September

5:18 pm on 16 May 2011

An inquest into the death of a fire officer following a coolstore explosion near Hamilton will be held in September.

Derek Lovell died when leaking gas ignited while they were investigating an automatic fire alarm at the coolstore at Tamahere on 5 April 2008.

Seven other officers were seriously injured.

Coroner Gordon Matenga says there is little dispute over the facts of what happened to cause the fire and explosion, so he will not need to hear from all of the fire officers who attended the call.

Mr Matenga says evidence used in the prosecution of the coolstore company, one of its directors and another company that supplied services to the coolstore will be used as evidence at the inquest, along with reports from the Fire Service and the Department of Labour.

The inquest on 5 September will focus on avoiding deaths in similar circumstances in the future, he says.