FRIGHTENED residents have accused an energy firm of lying after bosses insisted sabotage was responsible for a devastating brine spill.
Halite Energy, formerly Canatxx, maintains it has forensic evidence of foul play after a Preesall farmer’s field was destroyed by the brine, despite police saying they would take their investigation into the incident no further.
The company has released a technical report into the well head eruption, but the forensic evidence remains a closely guarded secret.
However, at a heated meeting in Stalmine, angry residents ordered the firm to disclose that evidence – or risk losing credibility within the community it wishes to work in.
Ian Mulroy, chairman of the Protect Wyre group, said: “Your problem is credibility with us. We’re sceptical.
“If you put the forensic information before us, we can evaluate that and see if you’re credible or not – we can judge you by that.”
Halite chief executive Keith Budinger faced a barrage of criticism from residents, who said the well heads could be unsafe and the company was using sabotage as a smokescreen to cover safety issues.
Mike Jeynes, who lives on Acres Lane, Preesall, said: “You should satisfy every one of us that all this lot is safe, because frankly you’ve not done so thus far and neither did your predecessors. One of those well heads is 100 yards from the front door of my cottage.”
Halite’s technical report revealed ruptured casing was the primary cause of the eruption, but Mr Budinger said that alone would not have led to the spill.
He told the crowd: “That well-head should have withstood the pressure. As soon as we reach a point where we can share the forensic evidence with you we will.”