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Firm fined €300,000 over death blast

A CHEMICAL company was fined €300,000 yesterday over an explosion at a plant in which a worker was killed.

Liam Nodwell (58) died after suffering burns to 90pc of his body in a huge explosion on April 28, 2008, at the Corden PharmaChem plant in Little Island, Cork.

His burns were so bad that the ambulance that brought the dying man to Cork University Hospital later had to be taken out of service by the HSE and decontaminated.

Yesterday, Liam's brother and sister, Jimmy and Sheila Nodwell, told the Irish Independent nothing would ever make up for the loss of a devoted father, husband, brother and friend.

"He was a father figure to all of us -- he was a marvellous, kind, devoted man. He was worth 10 times €300,000. That's all we can say," they said.

Corden was fined €300,000 and ordered to pay costs of €72,000 after what Judge Patrick Moran at Cork Circuit Criminal Court said was "a very serious (safety) breach".

Mr Nodwell of Church Hill, Glanmire, died just hours after the explosion, which blew apart sections of the firm's Production Block II facility.

A second employee -- James O'Sullivan -- suffered multiple injuries but survived.

A civil action is understood to be still ongoing.

Corden pleaded guilty to four different breaches of health and safety regulations.

The company expressed its regrets and sympathies to the Nodwell family on their loss.

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