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Updated: Jun 8

Reporter: Just a few miles away from here, in the Yorkshire coalfield, they’ve grown used to the idea of death and disaster as the price men have to pay for coal. Even the fish that comes into Hull, just across the Humber over there, is bought at the cost of the trawlers that never return. Now Flixborough has joined the unhappy band of communities who pay for other people’s progress with human lives. This is the price of nylon.


Cyclohexane has no free will.

It did not decide

to break away and ignite .


Chemicals are ruled by properties

and cyclohexane’s destiny

was decreed by the owners of the factory.


If proper systems had been in place,

and corners not cut to bring down costs...

leak after leak after warning leak.


Reporter: It was exactly seven minutes to five on Saturday afternoon when the clock at Burton Post Office, two miles away, was stopped by the force of the biggest peace time explosion ever known in Britain.


Not to evacuate wasn’t fair –

a man can’t die if he’s not there.


For those trapped in shabby structures,

not grasping rapidly enough

the right connection

between reasonable risk and escape

or running in the wrong direction,

it was just another fucked up fact

that Nypro had

‘insufficient blast protection.’


Will my right honourable friend agree that the cost in terms of grief and misery that my constituents have had to suffer and are still suffering on the altars of wealth and so-called technical achievement is too high for a so-called civilised society to bear?


John Ellis. MP for Brigg and Scunthorpe Commons Chamber June 3rd 1974

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