MOSSMORRAN Action Group has expressed their concerns about reports of the extent of the damage caused by the boiler failure at the Fife Ethylene Plant which forced its shut down.

Linda Holt, board member and spokesperson for Mossmorran Action Group said: “I was shocked to learn at MP Lesley Laird’s Working Group on Mossmorran on Friday that the two boiler breakdowns in August were both accompanied by explosions.

"David Green, of HSE, described the breakdowns as “catastrophic”, and they are currently the subject of a live investigation by HSE. We were also told that neither HSE nor Exxon have so far identified the cause.

"Rumours have been circulating locally that the boilers exploded, and HSE’s confirmation makes a mockery of ExxonMobil’s communication strategy. For years local communities have lived with the fear of an accident at the plant; and trying to hide explosions behind an announcement of £140 million investment will only exacerbate local mistrust and fear.”

Stuart Neill, external affairs manager for Exxon Mobil said: “We are concerned that comments have been made publicly on an ongoing regulatory investigation.

"It would be inappropriate for ExxonMobil to comment until the HSE’s investigation, and our own, have been completed.”