Brine leak probe results imminent

Brine well at Preesall which overflowed.
Brine well at Preesall which overflowed.
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GAS storage bosses today said they will release a report on a brine well failure this week after police revealed there was no evidence of foul play.

The investigation into claims a Halite Energy well head, which burst open flooding Preesall farmland with brine, was sabotaged has been dropped.

Two roads had to be closed when the cap failed and burst open in June.

Criminal

A clean-up operation and technical investigation was immediately launched into the causes of the incident on Monks Lane.

During the inquiry information came to light which Halite bosses believed could point towards criminal activity on the site and police were called in.

But officers have now confirmed the investigation has concluded.

Supt Richard Spedding said: “Lancashire Constabulary has found no verifiable evidence either way to suggest whether a crime has or has not been committed.

“Unless new substantive evidence comes to light, we have concluded our investigation.”

But Halite bosses said their own technical assessment into why the brine head failed will be released by the end of next week.

Chief executive Keith Budinger added: “We are very grateful to Lancashire Constabulary for their efforts at a senior level to investigate this information and our concerns and appreciate that from their perspective, there is insufficient evidence at this stage to take matters further.

“The board of Halite Energy Group will now consider the findings of the police investigation and act accordingly.

“The plan is to release a technical assessment report by the end of this week.”

Residents said the sabotage allegations were a ‘smoke screen’ to hide the cause of the failure in June.

Ian Mulroy, chairman of Protect Wyre, said: “We’re pleased to see an end to the police investigation which in our opinion should never have been started as we can see no evidence any sabotage or anything to support it took place.

“Halite should now make public the nature of the alleged sabotage which up until now has been a secret.

“As the residents we do not see this as an end to the matter.”