Woman says toxic smoke from waste plant explosion caused husband's death from cancer

A series of explosions happened at a waste processing plant owned by CSG in 2000. Credit: ITV West Country

A woman whose husband died of lung cancer 13 years ago after being exposed to smoke from explosions at a waste plant in Gloucestershire says she believes it caused his death.

Fire at Cleansing Service Group's (CSG) waste plant in Sandhurst, Gloucestershire, in October 2000 sent poisonous gas into the air.

Jayne Overthrow has told ITV News there are still questions about the health impact of the fumes on villagers from Sandhurst including those who were young children at the time.

The cause of the fire was never fully established, but a toxic combination of hazardous waste materials were found on the site.

CSG was ordered to pay a total of £650,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to 15 charges of breaching environmental safety laws.

Residents in nearby Sandhurst and Twigworth complained of sore throats, streaming eyes and breathing difficulties.

CSG pleaded guilty to 15 charges of breaching environmental safety laws. Credit: ITV West Country

Mrs Overthrow blames the toxic fumes which drifted across her house for the death of her husband from lung cancer.

Mrs Overthrow says she is choosing to speak out now to help others who she worries may become ill because of the explosion.

We still don't know even 17 years on. It's 13 years when my husband died. We're only 4 years further down the line. Another 4 years, another year, another 5 years, another 10. Those people will still only be in their 30s. They need to be monitored if they wish to. Or if they have any health issues they need to be flagged up immediately.

Jayne Overthrow
The fire sent a cloud of poisonous gas into the air. Credit: ITV News

Local GP Dr Duncan McNaire wrote a briefing note to the Parish Council in 2011 before his own death:

The wind blew the toxic gases... straight over the first 19 houses along Sandhurst lane... of the occupants of these houses 13 people have either had cancer or have died of cancer.

Dr Duncan McNaire

CSG says in a statement:

CGS has always acknowledged its profound regret and sadness for the distress and inconvenience caused to local residents by the incident which happened 17 years ago.


Gloucestershire County Council has also commented.

"In 2011, eleven years after the incident, the NHS states that its study had seen no increase in cancer registrations from residents being monitored."