Investigation into train derailment and oil spill rules out prosecutions for companies involved
An investigation into a train derailment, fire and diesel spill that occurred near Carmarthen in August 2020, has concluded there is insufficient evidence to prosecute any of the companies or individuals responsible.
On 26 August 2020, a freight train carrying 25 tank wagons with around 75.5 tonnes of diesel in each, derailed at Llangennech. 10 of the 25 wagons came off the tracks, causing a large diesel spill which also seeped into the nearby Loughor Estuary, and caused a major fire.
It took fire crews two days to extinguish the fire, which limited the initial efforts to contain the diesel due to safety concerns and the priority of extinguishing the blaze.
The crash occurred at a site of special scientific interest, which is home to wildfowl and wading birds, and the oil spill resulted in the estuary’s cockle beds and shellfisheries being closed as a precaution, following advice from the Food Standards Agency.
National Resources Wales (NRW), described it’s investigation into the incident as “complex and thorough” but concluded “there is no realistic prospect of conviction against any company or individual and therefore no charges will be brought against anyone in relation to the incident.”
Martyn Evans, Head of South West Operations, NRW, said: “While there is strong evidence identifying the likely cause of the derailment and the impact that had on the environment, it has not been possible to determine beyond reasonable doubt who was ultimately responsible for the derailment of the train wagon.
“We have exhausted every lead as part of the investigation, however, there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against a specific individual or company. To pursue a court case knowing there was no realistic prospect of a successful prosecution would be a reckless use of public funds.
“This has been a difficult and disappointing decision for NRW to make. The impact of this incident will be felt in the environment for years to come.
“I wish to thank everyone who contributed to the enormous incident response, and recovery operation. All worked tirelessly to mitigate the long-term impact of this incident on the environment.”
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