Company director charged over mill explosion which killed four

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A wealthy company director and two managers have been charged over a mill explosion which killed four people.

George Boden, director of Wood Treat Ltd, which ran Bosley Mill in Cheshire, has been charged with gross negligence manslaughter following the explosion and devastating fire at the mill in July 2015.

The firm has been charged as a corporate body with corporate manslaughter and both the firm and Boden have been charged with health and safety offences, along with two other managers.

Workers Dorothy Bailey, Derek Barks, Derek Moore, and Jason Shingler were all killed in the disaster, with others left injured after the blast at the wood flour mill which made wood chip products.

Jenny Hopkins, head of the Crown Prosecution Service special crime and counter terrorism division, said: “Following explosions at a wood flour mill in Bosley on Friday July 17 2015 which led to the death of four people and injuries to a number of others, the Crown Prosecution Service has authorised charges.

Cheshire mill explosion
The aftermath of the blast in the village of Bosley (Chris Neil/Sunday Telegraph/PA)

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“Cheshire Police has been authorised by the CPS to charge Wood Treatment Limited with corporate manslaughter and George Boden, one of its directors, with gross negligence manslaughter.

“The company, Mr Boden and two others who were managers for the company have also been charged with health and safety offences.”

Boden and the two managers, Philip Smith and Peter Shingler, will appear at Stockport Magistrates’ Court on December 2.

The explosion, on Friday, July 17, 2015 resulted in a 1,000C inferno raging for days before the bodies of the victims were recovered from the wreckage of the devastated mill buildings.

The mill dominated the village of Bosley in rural Cheshire, with many locals working at the plant, which made wood products in a process producing wood flour, which is airborne and highly-combustible particles of wood.

A pro-longed investigation was carried out by Cheshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive.

The full charges are that Wood Treatment Ltd is accused of four offences of corporate manslaughter relating to the deaths of Dorothy Bailey, Derek Barks, Derek Moore and Jason Shingler, and one offence of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees in breach the Health and Safety Act at Work Act 1974. George Boden is charged with four offences of manslaughter by gross negligence, relating to the deaths of Dorothy Bailey, Derek Barks, Derek Moore and Jason Shingler, and one offence under the Health and Safety Act at Work Act 1974.

Smith and Shingler are both charged with an offence under the Health and Safety Act at Work Act.

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