Icepak co admits guilt

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Icepak Coolstores has pleaded guilty to three charges following the fatal explosion at Tamahere last year that killed a firefighter and injured several others.

But the company’s three directors each denied the individual charges against them.

Icepak yesterday pleaded guilty in the Hamilton District Court to the charges laid under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

The legislation sets out the duties of employers regarding the safety of employees and others in and around the workplace.

Directors Jan Van Eden, Iain Slight and Wayne Grattan, who face one charge each under the act, maintained their not guilty pleas.

Tauranga-based Mobile Refrigeration Specialists and its director Warren Cook also faced charges under the same act.

Mr Cook’s lawyer entered no plea but said it was likely guilty pleas would be entered at another call-over on June 4.

A Fire Service report released nearly six months after the incident said that the eight firefighters did not know the coolstore used the highly flammable gas Hychill -50 – which is 95 per cent propane – as a refrigerant.

It revealed there was no smell of gas before the devastating explosion and no signs warning that flammable gas was present.

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