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14 charged over Ghislenghien gas explosion

18 November 2005

BRUSSELS — The judge investigating the Ghislenghien gas explosion in July 2004 has charged 14 people and companies in connection with the tragedy.

A judicial spokesperson said on Thursday the 14 legal entities were charged with causing unintentional injuries and manslaughter, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported.

The spokesperson also said the charges were just one section of the entire legal process. All charges are of a temporary nature.

All those charged have the right to avail of certain legal rights, such as applying to inspect the case dossier.

The investigating judge is still awaiting medical reports, which are expected to be finalised in the next few days.

If the judge decides the investigation is complete, the dossier will then be handed over to the public prosecutor, who will decide what further action to take.

The prosecutor can decide that further inquiries are necessary or opt to bring the case to trial.

The following individuals and firms have been charged:

  • A & I (architects bureau)
  • CAD & V (safety co-ordinators)
  • Kristof Dewael (foreman)
  • Marc Duvivier (municipal secretary of Ath)
  • Fluxys (gas network authority)
  • Husqvarna Belgium (company formerly known as Diamant Boart)
  • Erwin Persoons (architect with A & I)
  • Rudi Plaitsier (team leader with Diamant Boart)
  • Tramo (road construction firm)
  • Didier Vandendriessche (worker with Tramo)
  • Bruno Van Grootenbrulle (Ath Mayor)
  • Kamiel Vijverman (deputy safety co-ordinator)
  • Karine Vijverman (safety co-ordinator)
  • VK Engineering (engineering firm)

The massive gas explosion on 30 July 2004 at Ghislenghien cost the lives of 24 people. A further 132 were injured.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news