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Companies deny gas explosion charges

Published: 6:34AM Monday April 30, 2012 Source: ONE News

Two Auckland companies have pleaded not guilty in the Auckland District Court today to charges following an explosion that killed one worker and saw another lose his legs.

Watercare Services and contractor Canadian Pacific face a total of five charges laid under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, including failing to ensure the safety of their employees.

The Department of Labour confirmed in November that it was prosecuting the companies after a gas explosion at the company's Onehunga plant in June last year

One Watercare employee, Canadian mother of two Philomen Gulland, 48, died and several other people were injured.

Gulland's colleague, engineer Ian Winson, lost both his legs in the explosion.

Watercare says the incident happened while workers were inspecting an out of service water main.

Watercare Services is Auckland's water and wastewater service provider, and Canadian Pacific is a specialist piping contractor based in East Tamaki.