Kent

Villagers meet over Isle of Grain gas plant safety fear

LNG terminal on the Isle of Grain
Image caption The gas terminal at Grain is now the UK's second-largest

More than 100 villagers living near a giant gas terminal in Kent have attended a public meeting to discuss their safety fears.

Isle of Grain residents said they were concerned the new Medway Council emergency plan mentioned fatally rates in relation to explosion risks.

Medway Council, which held the public meeting to allay fears, said they were required to plan for every eventuality.

It said the figures were found in most emergency plans and did not apply.

The LNG depot has expanded in recent years, with four giant gas storage tanks being added since the 2008 plan was produced.

The site - the UK's second largest - is run by the National Grid and can now accommodate some of the world's largest gas tankers.

'Fatalities and casualties'

Isle of Grain resident Lisa Hood said: "We have never doubted the safety of the Grain LNG site itself but the fact that the site is on our doorstep still poses a certain amount of risk.

"It actually mentions in the [emergency] plan itself hazards that could arise from living near an LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal.

"It mentions things such as fire and explosions and it talks about the fact that it could actually spread to sort of 3km in the area leading up to 500 fatalities and 1,500 casualties.

"This is the kind of reason why we obviously have certain concerns of living so close to a gas plant."

Council cabinet member for community safety, Mike O'Brien, said the site had been operating for more than 30 years and there had never been any questions about its safety.

He added: "With emergency planning we have, as much as are able to, to consider every conceivable eventuality. We'd be failing in our duty if we didn't do so.

"The particular table that Miss Hood was speaking about is one that is in most plans throughout the country and does not actually apply to the people of Grain village.

"The people of Grain village last night were able to ask their question. The answers were given by all the partners there honestly and transparently.

"I'm confident that I can say to the people of Grain, you have nothing to fear."

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