Helicopter crash survivor Tosh wants public inquiry

Pressure is growing on the UK government to hold a full public inquiry into offshore helicopter safety.

A petition calling for an open and transparent investigation has been launched by a survivor of last year’s tragedy.

The Westminster government ruled out a full inquiry in October after it rejected union claims that commercial pressure was having a detrimental impact on safety.

Now Martin Tosh, who escaped the wreckage of the Super Puma aircraft which crashed off Sumburgh in August 2013, is behind a campaign aimed at the British transport secretary.

Mr Tosh’s call comes almost a year after unions first demanded public scrutiny of the circumstances surrounding the crash.

He said: “A public inquiry into the accident that killed four offshore workers coming home to their loved ones on 23rd August 2013 has been rejected by the government. It has been an incredibly difficult decision to make for the families that lost their loved ones whether they should become involved in a public issue.

“The personnel on board were looking forward for their time off, to spend quality time with their loved ones. The survivors that did make it have since suffered from post traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, marriage break ups and parts of the body still in pain mentally and physically, not able to continue doing everyday activities that everyone takes for granted.”

In October isles MP Alistair Carmichael insisted that evidence which might be gleaned from a public investigation could just as easily come from a fatal accident inquiry.

But Mr Tosh believes there is still value in the government staging its own investigation.

He said: “What harm would a public inquiry do, unless there is something to hide? This would put a massive percentage of the offshore workers at ease and their families.”

Mr Tosh insisted there were “issues” which could not be dealt with until a full investigation had been carried out by the Air Accident Investigation branch.

His call comes after UK transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin was slammed by an Aberdeen MP for failing to meet relatives of those who died in the crash.

Frank Doran, who represents Aberdeen North, insisted questions needed to be answered about what happened when the CHC-operated Super Puma crashed on its flight from the Borgsten Dolphin platform.

Four out of the 18 people onboard the aircraft died in the tragedy – the fifth North Sea disaster involving an offshore helicopter to take place since February 2009.

• The petition can be viewed at www.change.org/p/secretary-of-state-for-transport-public-enquiry-in-helicopter-crash-why-reject-a-public-enquiry-when-things-was-not-correct?


Add Your Comment
  • Alex Allison Jnr.

    • December 26th, 2014 20:18

    My Brother George died in this Helicopter, this is owed not only to him and his colleagues who died with him but the families and victims of every helicopter of this type that crashed. We need to know why and how they died. It has to be public enquiry in order to demonstrate just what these brave men and women in the Oil Industry are doing in order to keep our Society running. They not only produce Oil, petrol etc. but most of the chemicals that we use in every day life including medicines and plastics and we owe them this. I think of my Brother George every day and wish I had not lost the years we were apart (I live in Wales). If nothing else this is the least the Government can do for them and the grieving families.


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