Burning question 
after Ineos big 
bang goes online

The explosion at Ineos
The explosion at Ineos

A fireball which sent debris high into the air raised a few safety questions from those who witnessed last week’s “controlled” explosion at Ineos.

Several residents present at the event at the firm’s Grangemouth site near Gate 12, just off Inchyra Road, last Wednesday and those who saw the photographs and video footage captured by The Falkirk Herald’s chief photographer Michael Gillen expressed concern over what they had seen.

Responding to the footage on the Herald’s Facebook site, Bob Adam stated: “Safety will always be our number one priority – comments from Ineos. Look at the pictures, this appears to have gone wrong.”

Sandy Whyte added: “I’ve seen and been involved in many blow downs. Never seen flames. Something 
went wrong.”

Conrad Burt said: “Gas free, hydrocarbon free, ready for demolition? They were lucky this time, again.”

An Ineos spokesperson said: “We employed a specialist demolition company, Brown and Mason, who used a well-established method of controlled, explosive demolition to remove a redundant structure within a designated demolition zone.

“This was carefully and meticulously planned and assessed. It took place on a part of the site that is now a demolition plot where there has been no manufacture of chemicals for many years, and where there is no ‘live’ plant in the vicinity.

“We made every effort and took precautions to cleanse the structure of any material that had been manufactured in the past. However, we believe a small amount of powder and dust remained inside the cavity walls 
of the structure.

“The flames seen very briefly during the demolition works were caused by this powder and dust igniting momentarily as the building collapsed.”

Nick Brown, Brown and Mason managing director, said: “The ignition of dust or powder is a possibility during the controlled demolition of structures 
such as this, when using explosives.

“Our exclusion zone took this into account and was set to ensure the safety of the public and our operators. Wednesday’s demolition was carried out to the highest safety standards.”

Ineos stated it had worked closely with Police Scotland and Falkirk Council throughout the demolition and was carrying out a thorough review of the work carried out last Wednesday was a matter of routine.