BP CHEMICALS was fined #200,000 yesterday as a result of a fire at its

Grangemouth plant in which one man died.

The company was also ordered at Falkirk Sheriff Court to pay

compensation of #10,000 each to three men who were seriously burned.

BP had admitted failing to provide adequate means of escape for

workers caught in the blaze in February 1992.

The fire took place on the site of a new #3m chemical storage plant.

The dead man was contract worker John Cook, 26, of Glenbervie Road,

Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, whose wife Diane was expecting their first

child at the time. Her son, Darryl, is now two.

Procurator-fiscal George Scott told how a huge storage sphere was

being coated with polyurethane foam insulation when the fire broke out

beneath the four men who were up scaffolding at the time.

They were trapped inside thick plastic sheeting surrounding the sphere

with only one set of ladders as an escape route. He said: ''It is only

common sense that at least one other means of escape should have been


The fiscal said that, according to eyewitnesses, Mr Cook fell from the

ladder and died from his injuries.

Belgians Rudy Peleman and Hugo Scheelen also fell after being burned.

They are still

receiving treatment in Belgium.

Mr Brian Taylor, of Hull, had 50% burns

and lung damage from fumes. He has already undergone 20 skin graft

operations, remains in constant pain, still requires further surgery,

and will never work again.

The #200,000 fine was to make it ''meaningful'' to the multi-national

company, Sheriff Albert Sheehan said.

He said the award to each of the badly burned men should not prejudice

any future civil

action raised by them against BP.

Sheriff Sheehan added: ''Unfortunately, I cannot make a compensation

order to someone who has been killed. Therefore it is not within my

power to make such an award to the next of kin of the unfortunate Mr

Cook, or I would have.''

Sheriff Sheehan said he had taken into account BP's good safety record

over the past 30 years but it had overall responsibility for contractors

working for it.

Solicitor David Stewart said that although the exact cause of the

blaze had never been established by the company or the Health and Safety

Executive, the most likely cause was halogen lamps brought on to the

site by con-

tractors without BP's permission.

The lamps had been found lying face down after the fire and could have

set fire to scaffold boarding or loose foam.