Gerrard's Cross Tunnel Collapse Report

P Quelch made this Freedom of Information request to Health and Safety Executive

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by Health and Safety Executive.

Dear Health and Safety Executive,

After the collapse of the Gerrard's Cross tunnel in June 2005 the HSE began an investigation in the incident.

Please send me a copy of the final report and the conclusions from that investigation.

Yours faithfully,
P Quelch

Infoline Admin,


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your request for information.

We have forwarded your Freedom of Information request to the appropriate
FOI officer to action. Their contact details are as follows:

Linda Tang

Freedom of Information Officer

Health and Safety Executive

AW House

6-8 Stuart St



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Health and Safety Executive

Dear Sir or Madam,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2010 100 271

Thank you for your request for information about:

A copy of the Gerrard's Cross Tunnel Collapse report

Your request was received on 12 October 2010 and I am dealing with it
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).

I can confirm that HSE holds information about this incident. However, the
incident is currently under investigation and action arising from the
investigation has not yet been completed.

The information is therefore exempt from disclosure under section 30(1)(b)
of the Act (investigations and proceedings conducted by public
authorities) in that it is information held by HSE for the purposes of an
investigation which may lead to a decision to institute criminal

Public Interest Test

The exemption relied on is a qualified exemption that is subject to the
public interest test. This means HSE has to balance the public interest
factors favouring disclosure against those favouring non-disclosure. In
this case, I have considered the following factors in favour of

o Promote transparency and build public confidence in HSE's
investigative process
o Secure the health and safety of employees and others
o Ensuring that the HSE properly utilises the resources at its disposal
o To assist those involved in accidents at work to pursue redress via
the civil courts

I have also considered the following factors in favour of non-disclosure:

o Impede an ongoing investigation by hampering the gathering of
information and evidence
o Inhibit HSE's ability to conduct further investigations effectively
because, for example, third parties may be less willing to volunteer
information to HSE if information is disclosed inappropriately
o Reduce the chances of a successful prosecution should the
investigation conclude that this course of action is appropriate
o Unfair in cases where decisions may be taken not to proceed to
o Any discussions about the lack of compliance with the law and/or the
range of sanctions that HSE might apply to obtain compliance with law
in any given circumstance remain confidential

After careful consideration, I believe that the public interest in not
disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing
because of the adverse impact it would have on the ability of HSE to
conduct investigations.

For your information, the Information Commissioner has considered, and
supported, a previous refusal by HSE to disclose information in the course
of an ongoing investigation in a Decision Notice dated 4 February 2010
(ICO reference FS50223414).

Although necessarily based on the facts of the case in question and
considered under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 rather
than the Act, the Decision acknowledged the prejudice that disclosure of
information could cause to HSE's functions and recognised that very
considerable weight should be given to the public interest in maintaining
the exemption in such circumstances. Decision Notices are available on the
website of the Information Commissioner's Office (see below).

One consequence of the statutory time period for responding to requests
contained in the Act is that HSE cannot allow your request to lie `on
file' until the investigation is completed. Can I therefore suggest that,
if you still require the information, you make a further application in 6
months' time.

All requests received following the completion of the investigation will
be dealt with under the terms of the Act and any exemptions considered

If you have any queries, please contact me. Please remember to quote the
reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the decisions made by HSE you may ask for an
internal review within two calendar months of the date of this letter by
writing to me.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545700
Fax: 01625 524510

Email: [1][email address]
Website: [2]

Yours faithfully
Linda Tang

Miss Linda Tang
Freedom of Information Officer/Team Leader
Field Operations Directorate
East and South East Division
Health and Safety Executive
A W House
6-8 Stuart Street
[3][email address]
Tel 01582 444319 | VPN 508 4319 | Fax 01582 444321

show quoted sections

Dear Miss Tang,

This is in reference to FoI request 2010 100 271, the Gerrard's Cross Tunnel Collapse Investigation.

Can I just confirm that despite over five years having passed the HSE is claiming it still has not finished the investigation?

As the nearest equivalent body, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, has a target deadline of 12 months for an investigation (and has never failed to report in less than 24 months) I'm sure you can understand why I find it hard to believe the HSE's claim to still be working on the investigation after 60+ months.

Yours faithfully,

P Quelch

Health and Safety Executive

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your email dated 17 October 2010.

I have spoken to the Principal Inspector who has confirmed that due to
the complexity of the matter, the investigation is currently ongoing and
we are unable to release any information at this present time.

Yours faithfully,
Linda Tang

Miss Linda Tang
Freedom of Information Officer/Team Leader
Field Operations Directorate
East and South East Division
Health and Safety Executive
A W House
6-8 Stuart Street
[email address]
Tel 01582 444319 | VPN 508 4319 | Fax 01582 444321

show quoted sections

alan m dransfield (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

By the grace of god, nobody was killed at the Gerrards Cross Tunnel collapse.
It beggars belief the HSE are STILL Investigating that collpase.

Conversely, the Vale View school was reopend 24 hrs after a ceiling collpase at the school!!??
Double standards or what