Cotswold Airport fire chief death ruled accidental

Steven Mills Steven Mills became Cotswold Airport fire services manager in 2009

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The death of Cotswold Airport's fire services manager in an industrial incident was accidental, an inquest has found.

Steven Mills, 45, from Malmesbury in Wiltshire, died on 8 April last year after suffering a traumatic head injury at Kemble Airfield.

He was hit by a decompressed gas cylinder as it discharged its contents.

A safety pin which should have been attached to a valve on the cylinder was found in Mr Mills' hand.

Mr Mills was also a retained fireman with Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and had asked some of his colleagues there to assist with the disposal of the cylinders which were part of a fire suppression system attached to temporary office buildings, the inquest heard.

Giving evidence, colleagues said a proper risk assessment had not been carried out and labels on the cylinders advising specialist removal were not adhered to.

A jury at Gloucester Coroner's Court returned a verdict of accidental death.

Assistant deputy coroner Tom Osborne said he was not going to order a change in training as there were senior Wiltshire fire officers present at the inquest and he hoped they would implement the appropriate training.

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