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Depot detonator storage investigations launched
11:00am Monday 20th August 2012 in Local News
TWO investigations into security at a rail depot have been launched after a 15-year-old boy was blinded by explosives he found there.
The Office of Rail Regulation and Network Rail are investigating how Harvey Rowe got into the Network Rail depot behind Leigh station on Saturday and how the detonators he found were stored. Harvey’s mum Claire, 46, of Herschell Road, Leigh, said: “I welcome it. I feel good someone is investigating Network Rail. Even if they had got in by climbing over the fence, the explosives shouldn’t have been left in a skip.”
The Belfairs High School pupil said he and two 17-year-old friends got into the depot via the next-door skate park through a gap in the fence. It is claimed the gap had been left for two years.
The youngsters said they found the detonators in an unsecured box in a skip.
The 17-year-olds were arrested for theft and released on police bail. Harvey’s grandfather, Terry Lincoln, 68, of Grove Road, Benfleet , said: “They have a duty to protect the property, and a duty of care to dispose of the explosives properly.”
The boys were collecting fuel for a bonfire in the skate park. Harvey wanted the detonator box to store his BMX tools in, and tipped the detonators – which he had no idea were explosives – onto a pile of unlit rubbish.
They exploded when the fire was lit, sending splinters into Harvey’s right eye. Youths using the skate park have been getting into the depot regularly for at least two years.
An Office of Rail Regulation spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the incident. We are investigating the gap in the fence and how the detonators were stored.”
A British Transport Police spokeswoman said: “I understand Network Rail is conducting its own investigation into how they were stored.”
The Health and Safety Executive said the incident had not been reported to it. Network Rail declined to comment while the police investigation is ongoing.