Monday, August 27, 2012

Aircraft maintenance engineer: New inquiries into airport death sought

An aircraft maintenance engineer is to seek High Court orders directing new inquiries into the death of a colleague who was killed in a fall from a de-icing rig at Dublin Airport in March 2008. 

Kevin Carroll, Keatingstown, Co Wicklow, told Mr Justice Gerard Hogan yesterday that he wanted the court to direct the Air Accident Investigation Unit and the Irish Aviation Authority to carry out the inquiries.

Mr Carroll said his colleague, David Ralph (58), Brackenstown, Swords, Co Dublin, had plummeted seven metres to his death when the basket of a de-icing rig broke free and crashed on to the apron of the airport.

He claimed the investigation unit and the aviation authority were obliged by law to fulfil statutory duties by inquiring into the endangerment of aircraft operations on the basis there had been a “serious incident”.

Mr Carroll said he wished to issue proceedings involving the investigation unit, the Irish Aviation Authority and the Garda Síochána as well as the Minister for Transport, the Minister for Enterprise and Jobs, the Health and Safety Authority and the Dublin City Coroner Dr Brian Farrell.

He agreed with Mr Justice Hogan that he was taking the proceedings only out of concern for others and had no direct association with what had happened at the airport or since.

Mr Carroll, who was not legally represented and who appeared in the absence of the other parties, was granted leave to bring a new application on September 18th on the basis the other parties would be put on notice and given an opportunity of putting their side to the court.

He said more than four years had passed before any information had been made public at the Dublin City Coroner’s Court last May.

He said the Health and Safety Authority had apparently completed its investigation, yet from his attendance at the inquest on July 26th, a number of substantial issues appeared to be unresolved. The inquest had been adjourned until October 18th and, failing completion, would be put back to 2013.

Mr Carroll said the authority had forwarded a file to the DPP who had chosen not to prosecute anyone regarding the incident. 


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