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Apprentice's death was manslaughter

THE BOSS of an M&E firm has been found guilty of the manslaughter of an apprentice who died from 90 per cent burns following an explosion at a boatyard.

A jury at Exeter Crown Court found Alan Mark, 45, and his company Plymouthbased Nationwide Heating Systems guilty of manslaughter on Monday.

Heating engineer Ben Pinkham,21, suffered horrific injuries when a highly flammable solvent he was using to clean a resin storage tank ignited and caused a massive blast.

The court heard that he had not been warned about the dangers of using acetone in a confined space.

Mr Pinkham was suspended from a harness inside the tank when he knocked over a halogen light, which sparked the blast.

He died on February 8 last year from septic shock at the Frenchay Hospital specialist burns unit in Bristol.

Mr Mark was due to be sentenced as Construction News went to press.