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Crown Office considering report on huge North Sea gas leak

A report into a massive gas leak on a North Sea oil platform has been submitted to prosecutors.

The Elgin platform, around 150 miles (241km) from Aberdeen, was evacuated of all 238 workers when it started leaking gas in March 2012.

The leak was stopped on May 15 of that year with an operation which pumped heavy mud and cement into an underwater well.

Production resumed in March last year on the platform, which is owned by a subsidiary company of Total.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident with the department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the findings have now been passed to the Crown Office.

An HSE spokesman said: "We can confirm the HSE/DECC investigation reports into aspects of the well operations leading up the blowout have been presented to the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service, who will now consider our recommendations and decide what action is to be taken."

Lang Banks, Scotland director of environmental campaigners WWF, said: "The investigation may have taken some time, but it is only right and proper that prosecutions be considered over the leak from Total's Elgin platform.

"While it was a relief that the Elgin leak was able to be stopped, the fact it happened at all and that a potent greenhouse gas was able to spew out for nearly two months was deeply concerning.

"The Elgin accident was the second serious leak in the North Sea within the space of two years, underlining the risks to the offshore oil industry even in the well-known waters around Scotland."

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