Owners Of Straw Plant Plead Guilty After Man Crushed

THE owners of a straw burning plant in Sutton have pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching health and safety law after a man was crushed to death at their premises in 2008.

THE owners of a straw burning plant in Sutton have pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching health and safety law after a man was crushed to death at their premises in 2008.

Appearing at Cambridge Crown Court last week, Energy Power Resources Ltd (EPR) - the owners of the Elean Power Station - pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to discharge its duty as described under the Health and Safety Act 1974.

The charges related to the death of father-of-three Gary Darnell at the EPR premises on the afternoon of September 16 2008.

The 53-year-old was unloading straw at the plant when a bale of straw fell from a crane and crushed him. Efforts by colleagues to remove the bale ultimately proved in vane and Mr Darnell was pronounced dead at the scene.


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An inquest into the death held in 2009, the coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death but an investigation by the health and safety executive found that EPR had a case to answer.

According to its website, the Elean Power Station is the world’s largest straw burning power station, producing about 270 gigawatts of electricity a year which is enough to power thousands of homes.

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At Cambridge Crown Court last week the case was adjourned until November 4 when representatives for the company will return for sentencing.

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