Record fine for tunnel collapse
Tuesday 16 February 1999
Balfour Beatty pleaded guilty last year to failing to ensure the safety of its employees and the public in the collapse during the construction of the Heathrow express rail link in September 1994. The tunnel was empty and no one was killed or injured.
A judge at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Cresswell, said yesterday: "This was one of the worst civil engineering disasters in the United Kingdom in the last quarter of a century.
"The tunnels were being built below part of the world's busiest international airport and there was considerable potential for harm. It is a matter of chance whether death or any serious injury resulted from those very serious breaches."
Hundreds of flights were cancelled when an enormous crater appeared in between the airport's two main runways, dragging down car parks and causing buildings to sway.
In a statement, Balfour Beatty said it "deeply regretted" the collapse and said working practices across the group had been reviewed after an investigation.
Another firm involved, Geoconsult, was found guilty of two charges brought under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, of failing to ensure the safety of employees and the public. The Salzburg firm, which denied the charges, was fined pounds 500,000. Geoconsult was monitoring the rail link during the four-month period from May 1994 when the tunnel was being built by Balfour Beatty. It was responsible for the design and the technical supervision of the tunnel.
The companies were ordered to pay costs of pounds 100,000 each.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing company in Belvedere ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...
£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work in a sm...
£26000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...