Monday, October 27, 2014

Inquiry ruled out over helicopter crashes like one which killed South Shields man

The  Government has ruled out a full public inquiry into helicopter safety in the North Sea - following a crash which claimed the life of a South Tyneside man.

George Allison, of South Shields, was one of four oil rig workers who died in August 2013 when a Super Puma L2 aircraft crashed in the sea two miles west of Sumburgh Airport on Scotland’s Shetland Islands.

The inquiry call follows a report by Westminster’s transport select committee, which claimed there was evidence commercial pressure could put safety at risk.

However, in its response, the Department for Transport said it had not seen any evidence to suggest that safety was being compromised.

It said the Government did not support the call for a public inquiry.

Four passengers were killed when the helicopter ditched into the North Sea.

The accident was the fourth of its kind in five years.

The transport committee published its findings over the summer and called for a public inquiry.

Since the Shetland crash a number of new safety measures have been introduced, including a new underwater emergency breathing system, giving workers a better chance of survival should a helicopter crash into the sea.

* For more on this story, don’t miss tomorrow’s Gazette.

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