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Prosecutions to take place over 2011 oil refinery explosion

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THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE) is to prosecute Valero Energy UK Limited (Formerly Chevron Limited) and B&A Contracts Limited over an explosion in June 2011 which killed four refinery workers.

The two firms are to face charges under Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The charges relate to the deaths of Dennis Riley, Robert Broome, Andrew Jenkins and Julie Jones and major injuries to Andrew Phillips who were all working on the Amine Recovery Unit when it exploded on June 2, 2011. Chevron sold the refinery to Valero in August 2011.

The HSE’s deputy director field operations, Jane Lassey, said: “Following a painstaking and extremely thorough investigation, much of which was conducted jointly with Dyfed Powys Police, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges.”

The defendants are due to appear Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on September 24.

As the families mark seven years without their loved ones, the Jenkins family told The Herald last month they will ‘not get closure until one or both of the companies involved is successfully prosecuted’.

The news comes on the same day that First Minister Carwyn Jones joined Valero executives and other dignitaries at Pembroke Refinery for the ceremony to symbolically cut the first turf for Valero’s new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Cogeneration Unit, which is the first project to receive planning permission as a Development of National Significance process under the Planning (Wales) Act 2015.

Located within the boundaries of the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone and the Swansea Bay City Deal region, the 45 megawatt project will provide power to the refinery, as well as supplement the refinery’s steam demand, and will help Valero to achieve improved energy and cost efficiencies to ensure Pembroke Refinery continues to be successful in the competitive global market.

Following the ceremony the First Minister also addressed members of the refinery workforce and invited guests from the Pembrokeshire energy sector, local councillors and members of the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone and Swansea Bay City Deal at a celebratory lunch of fusion Tex-Mex cuisine and Welsh produce.

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said: “This announcement is a major boost to the economy of south west Wales which will allow the company to grow and compete successfully in a global marketplace as we face leaving the European Union. We enjoy an excellent relationship with one of our anchor companies, that continues to show a commitment to the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone. With the industry facing numerous challenges, the company keeps investing which is a true testament to the workforce and also the workforce in Pembrokeshire.”

Ed Tomp, Valero Vice President and General Manager, commented: “Today marks another major milestone in this project, which is a significant investment by Valero in Pembroke Refinery as well as a demonstration of the company’s commitment to the Welsh economy. We are delighted to have been able to welcome all our guests, especially the First Minister, and we are extremely grateful for the deep and widespread support we have received throughout the course of the project.”

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident

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POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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Tenby’s famous walrus ‘Wally’ has been spotted again

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TENBY’S most famous marine animal has been spotted again after fears she had been scared away.

Wally was spotted on Friday evening by the seaside town’s Lifeboat station.

Thought to be a two-year-old male, the walrus’s return comes after it was feared she had been disturbed by people flocking to catch a glimpse of her and “getting too close”

The animal has attracted hundreds of people to the seaside town now that the travel restrictions with Wales have been lifted to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Wally was last seen on Monday, but  members of the public were warned it was in the animal’s “best interests” to be “left alone” as much as possible and they were urged to “avoid the temptation to get near and disturb” her.

A joint statement was issued by the RSPCA, Tenby harbour master Chris Salisbury, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby lifeboat coxswain Phil John, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Rescue said that they were concerned to hear that people had tried to get close by using personal watercraft or paddle and surfboards.

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