Birse Metro faces £210,000 bill after Charing Cross explosion death

A Redhill-based construction company has been ordered to pay £167,000 in fines and £43,000 in costs after an employee was killed by a construction site explosion in central London

Ioan Boboc, 22, was a construction operative from north-west London who died from burns after the explosion on 2 December 2008, at the junction of Charing Cross road and Tottenham Court Road.

Southwark Crown Court heard that Birse Metro Ltd had not informed workers there were live cables in the excavation, and that adequate measures to prevent them coming in contact with the cable had not been put in place.

The explosion followed damage to an 11,000-volt live cable within an excavation, and Mr Boboc died of his injuries on Christmas Day 2008.

Birse Metro Ltd, of Redhill, Surrey, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The case was brought by the Health and Safety Executive.

HSE inspector Lisa Chappell said the dangers associated with live underground cables are “well-known to those carrying out groundworks in the construction industry. Clear guidance on avoiding contact with them is freely available to companies undertaking this work.

“This incident highlights the absolute necessity for such work to be properly planned and managed. Operatives should be briefed on the presence of cables and a safe system of working should be robustly enforced.

Mr Boboc’s family continues to grieve the loss of a son and brother following an incident that could have easily been prevented.”

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