Sonae puts demolition of fire-damaged bunkers at Knowsley, U.K., particleboard factory on hold after worker dies at the site on Saturday

LOS ANGELES , August 10, 2011 () – The demolition of woodchip bunkers at Sonae’s Knowsley, U.K., particleboard factory has been put on hold pending an enquiry by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after a demolition worker died at the site on Saturday.

The bunkers were damaged in a fire on June 9, U.K. timber industry magazine TTJ reported on Aug. 10.

James Dennis Kay, 62, who worked for Andrew Connolly Demolition, was found with serious injuries and died at the scene.

The managing director of the demolition firm, Andrew Connolly, said a full investigation was in progress to establish exactly what happened in the segregated area of the plant that was under his company's control.

A Sonae spokesman said that the demolition of the bunkers would be suspended until the HSE had completed its inquiry.

Sonae aims to restore the Knowsley plant to 80% production from October. The fire halted particleboard production, but the plant has continued to manufacture value-added board.

The managing director of Sonae (UK) Ltd., Nigel Graham, said on Saturday that the company's deepest heart-felt condolences were with Kay's family. He said Sonae was unable to speculate about how the accident happened.

The primary source of this article is TTJ, The Timber Industry Magazine, on Aug. 10, 2011.

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