MP calls for special Commons debate over Super Puma safety fears

Frank Doran MP
Frank Doran MP

A north-east MP will seek a special debate at Westminster on North Sea helicopter safety when the parliament’s recess ends next week.

Frank Doran, Labour member for Aberdeen North, said he believed offshore workers had lost confidence in the Super Puma and that it would not be easy to recover.

He will ask the Commons authorities to arrange an urgent debate on the safety concerns when MPs return to Westminster on Monday.

The move comes amid renewed anger among employees at the dangers involved in travelling to their work following the Super Puma tragedy on Friday.

Mr Doran said: “This is the fourth serious problem with Super Puma since 2009 and the second in which there have been significant casualties.

“My concern is that I think there is a growing belief in the workforce that the Super Puma should be taken out of action in the North Sea. I think the workforce in the North Sea has lost confidence in the Super Puma and it will be difficult to regain.”

Mr Doran believed there was “something more serious” wrong with the Super Puma than pervious investigations had uncovered.

Sir Malcolm Bruce, Liberal Democrat MP for Gordon, said many concerned constituents had been in touch with him since the incident.

“They feel they have not had answers to the previous incident and do not feel the case for putting the Super Pumas back into service was ever made to them,” he said.

“They are basically saying they feel disappointed that there has not been a fatal accident inquiry into the last accident, there’s been no prosecutions and no explanation. They worry that commercial interests are prevailing over safety.”