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Fireworks man cleared over pile-up

A fireworks contractor has been cleared of breaching health and safety laws after seven people died and 51 were injured in a motorway pile-up.

A judge directed a jury at Bristol Crown Court to find Geoffrey Counsell, 51, not guilty of a single charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Mr Counsell was originally charged with seven counts of manslaughter but they were dropped earlier this year.

Mr Counsell, who ran Firestorm Pyrotechnics, was hired by Taunton Rugby Club to run a display at its ground on November 4 2011.

The pile-up, involving more than 30 cars, was caused when they were engulfed by thick fog on the M5 near Taunton, just 200 yards from the display.

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