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Charges Laid Against Companies, Individuals Over Tamahere Blaze

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 7 NZPA - A total of nine charges have been laid against two companies and four individuals over the fatal Tamahere coolstore fire in April.

Senior Hamilton station officer Derek Lovell was killed and seven firefighters injured when a huge explosion engulfed the coolstore as they responded to an emergency callout.

A Fire Service report said there was no smell of gas, or signs warning of flammable materials when firefighters attended, so they were oblivious to the dangers they faced.

The Department of Labour laid the charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act in September but refused to reveal details of the defendants.

At a registrar's hearing in Hamilton District Court today, it was revealed that one company and three of its directors, granted interim name suppression, had been charged, Radio New Zealand reported.

Another company, Tauranga's Mobile Refrigeration Specialists, and one of its employees, Warren Cook, had also been charged.

The charges focus on a failure to take practical steps to ensure the safety of people, particularly the firefighters.

The case returns to court next week.

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