Suppression lifted on Icepak directors

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The Department of Labour will proceed with charges against three directors of the Icepak Coolstore over last year’s fatal fire at the Tamahere site.

The company is also facing charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, following the explosion and fire at the coolstore that killed one fire officer, Derek Lovell, and severely injured seven others, reported Radio NZ today.

At earlier court hearings, it was indicated that Icepak was in talks with the Department of Labour to drop the charges against the directors, Jan Van Eden, Wayne Grattan and Iain Slight.

Today in the Hamilton District Court, it was revealed the talks had come to nothing and the department has elected to proceed with the charges.

The company faces three charges and the directors one charge each.

Another company, Mobile Refrigeration Specialists and its director, Warren Cook are also charged.

All of the men and both companies have pleaded not guilty.

13 thoughts on “Suppression lifted on Icepak directors

  • May 12, 2009 at 12:06 pm
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    There was NO burning building when we arrived. There were NO Hazchem signs. Would we lie about such things????? As for Mr K, I do know what happened that day

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  • April 3, 2009 at 9:22 am
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    Those questions about stenching agents and the point you brought up about the lack of knowledge that the fire service has about factorys, needs to be brought up with the government. I agree the fireservice needs to work with the government agencys that inspect factories that have gas and other harmful gases.

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  • April 3, 2009 at 9:18 am
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    Mr Koppens you were there two to 3 minutes later, no disrespect but i have nothing to gain from saying what i said, and i stand by what i said, i believe it may have been a error in judgement, Why was the fire truck with water driven in between two burning buildings and parked there? and Why did they break the door with the fireman tool? when they did not know what they were walking into?

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  • April 2, 2009 at 9:23 pm
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    Deb12, I was there at the scene some 2 to 3 minutes after the explosion and know exactly where the fire engines were.
    To suggest that the Firemen made a mistake to park where they did when they had no idea that 400 kgs of propane was being used as a refrigerant and had permeated through the large room which then exploded is ridiculous.
    There were no signs, no stenching agent so no one had any idea what was being used.
    In 2003 a letter was written to Icepak asking was type of refrigerant was being used and the response was FREON R22.
    This is on public record.
    To suggest that the firemen were hasty in opening the door is speculating and that it “may” have spared some injuries is just not true.
    My chainsaw was sitting on the ground at my gate across from the Icepak site and the explosion blew it some 60 metres away, so the firemen had no chance, even if they had moved east or west of the site.

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  • March 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm
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    I love the biased and self righteous banter this forum seems to produce keep up the good work

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  • March 28, 2009 at 10:47 pm
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    Kim in response to your question. Iain is a modern Scottish Gaelic name, derived from Eoin but considered distinct from it in the same way that Jane and Joan are distinct in modern English. We have found no evidence that a name Iain existed before the 19th century. Ian is an English or Scots [2] spelling of Iain, coined in the 19th century according to our evidence. We find no evidence of any Scottish name pronounced \EE-@n\ until modern times. \@\ represents a schwa, the sound of the a in about.
    And no i am not Iain Slight but good try

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  • March 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm
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    Hey Kim

    ok Kim good on you, I read that one of the fire trucks with the water was parked in between two burning buildings, and i heard and read that the door was knocked down with a steel fireman tool? I dont know why when they aledge they didnt know what they were walking into used that to knock down the door, Now this isnt just coming from me this is talk around my workplace when this happened.

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  • March 28, 2009 at 6:28 pm
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    Deb, I’m not sure how you can says it was the firefighters’ fault. If there had been just one sign giving the appropriate warnings then this might avoided the death and injuries. Of course it will all be discussed in court but it does seem very harsh to suggest that the firefighters were at fault when they were doing their job, but without the sort of information that should have been available to them. My LPG barbecue gas bottle has better labelling that the Icepak coolstores had.

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  • March 28, 2009 at 6:02 pm
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    Unfortunately a firefighter died, I think there could have been some error in judgements on that fateful night by the firefighters and to be honest i think people arent going to think let alone say ” that the fighterfighters could have made a error in judgement and if they hadnt entered the building the way the said they did, the injuries that occured may not have been as severe and it could have prevented the death.

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  • March 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm
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    Iain, I’m wondering if you are the Iain Slight mentioned in this post? The spelling, which you are so concerned about, is a bit of a giveaway….

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  • March 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm
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    Do these men actually believe they have absolutely no responsibility for what happened at the Icepak site? In pleading not guilty they must believe that, one would hope that they honestly do, because if they have made that plea in the hopes of having a reasonable chance of getting off the charges then that is truly appalling. It appears to me at least that these people have only thought of themselves all the way through the whole tragedy and have never behaved in a remorseful manner. I sincerely hope that is not the case as the bravery of the men who were injured and the death of Mr. Lovell deserves so much more.

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