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Super Puma victims' families repeat calls for justice

Fleet owner Bond 'could have prevented' 2009 crash

Surviving relatives of offshore workers killed on chopper flights bit back their anger yesterday as they repeated calls for justice.

“Union man” John Edwards lost his son James, 33, five years ago when a Super Puma plunged into the North Sea during a routine transfer flight from BP’s Miller platform, killing all 16 aboard.

Investigators attributed the crash to a disintegrating gearbox, but in 2011 the Crown Office told the victims’ families they had no plans to prosecute fleet owner Bond Offshore Helicopters — and it was not until last month that a fatal accident inquiry ruled that Bond could have prevented the crash.

Guest speaker Mr Edwards urged the hall to back a motion demanding a public inquiry into the flights’ safety, along with practical reforms.

“It’s five years since my son was killed and no-one has been held to account. That cannot be right,” he said.

North Lanarkshire Trade Union Council secretary Hugh Gaffney spoke of his own brother’s death on an offshore flight 20 years ago.

“I’ve heard the speeches — it’s time for corporate manslaughter charges,” he said.

Applause erupted moments later as the motion was carried unanimously.

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