No charges over Southampton tower block fire

An exercise involving Hampshire emergency services has been held on board HMS Queen Elizabeth at HMNB Portsmouth.  Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, Hampshire Ambulance Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and Portsmouth Naval Bases Emergency Response Team (ERT) were put through their paces on board the Royal Navys brand new aircraft carrier.  The ship put together a realistic harbour fire exercise with training smoke and mock casualties to test their agencies in their response and in working together to combat an emergency on an extremely unfamiliar environment.

IN PICTURES: The first major emergency training exercise on HMS Queen Elizabeth

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NO-ONE will be prosecuted over a tower block blaze which killed two Hampshire firefighters, police have said.

James Shears, 35, and Alan Bannon, 38, died tackling the fire at 15-storey Shirley Towers in Southampton on April 6 last year.

A criminal investigation into the fire by Hampshire Constabulary has concluded and no charges will be brought. The findings are being passed to the coroner to form part of the inquest.

The Health and Safety Executive and the fire service are both carrying out investigations, and the Fire Brigades Union is also conducting an inquiry. The blaze which killed the two men started in the ninth floor of the tower block in Church Street after a curtain left draped over a light bulb caught fire.

A post-mortem showed Mr Shears, of Poole, Dorset, and Mr Bannon, of Bitterne, Southampton, died of exposure to excessive heat. All residents in the flats were rescued.