CALOR Gas will soon find out if it will face criminal prosecution over a huge leak at a plant on Canvey.

The Health and Safety Executive has just completed its investigation into the escape of 163 tonnes of liquified petroleum gas from the terminal in Haven Road in October 2008.

The company failed to inform the authorities of the leak for 15 days – it should have done so within 24 hours.

Peter Hornsby, the executive’s head of chemical industries for the Eastern Region, in a letter to Castle Point MP Bob Spink, confirms he will make a decision by December 11.

Calor would be informed but the news would not be made public immediately.

He said: “We may hear before Christmas whether the executive is to undertake a criminal prosecution of Calor for putting people at risk and/or for not properly informing people of the incident. The next stage is for me to review the evidence gathered by the investigating inspector and the conclusions that have been drawn about the causes of the incident.

“I will then be able to make a final decision on whether legal proceedings are to be instigated.” Campaigner George Whatley, of People Against Methane, alerted the authorities to the leak on October 26 last year.