Woman ‘sickened’ at failure to prosecute over disaster

The daughter of an oil worker killed in a North Sea helicopter crash says she is sickened there has been no criminal prosecution after a disaster which left 16 dead.

A fatal accident inquiry is due to get under way next week, almost five years after a Super Puma plunged into the water off the Aberdeenshire coast.

Many of the 14 passengers worked for KCA Deutag Drilling, including 57-year-old Raymond Doyle from Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire.

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His family said they will attend every day of the inquiry in Aberdeen.

Mr Doyle’s 35-year-old daughter Lorraine said they do not expect to get any closure as a result of the inquiry, or justice for those who were killed as they returned from work offshore on April 1 2009.

“I’m sickened it’s an FAI (fatal accident inquiry) and not a criminal prosecution. It felt like a massive kick in the teeth when we were told,” she said.

“They didn’t explain why it was an FAI, just that there wasn’t sufficient evidence for a prosecution, basically. Nothing will come of it. Recommendations will be made but they don’t even have to follow them.

“We just want justice for all the families.”

Ms Doyle will travel from Cumbernauld to the inquiry at Aberdeen Sheriff Court with her mother Wilma, sister Caroline and Mr Doyle’s brothers Tony and Neil.

The inquiry is scheduled to begin on Monday.

The Super Puma AS332-L2 was returning from BP’s Miller platform when its main rotor gearbox suffered a “catastrophic failure”. The two crew and 14 passengers were killed.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the gearbox failure caused the helicopter’s main rotor to break away and its “tail boom” got severed from the fuselage.

The crash happened just six weeks after a Super Puma EC225 ditched as it approached a production platform owned by BP. All 18 people on board survived.

In May last year the same model of helicopter, destined for an oil platform, went down about 30 miles off the coast of Aberdeen with 14 passengers and crew having to be rescued.

Five months later another EC225 carrying an oil crew from Aberdeen to a rig 86 miles north-west of Shetland was forced to ditch. The 17 passengers and two crew were rescued from life rafts by a passing boat.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “Having carefully considered all the circumstances of this incident, Crown Counsel have decided that there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution and, as a result, no criminal proceedings will be taken.”