FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has ordered a new inquiry into the death of a Paisley lawyer who fell down a mineshaft.
Mr Salmond yesterday told MSPs that Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services would look at the circumstances surrounding the death of Alison Hume.
Ms Hume worked for McCusker, McElroy and Co in Johnstone and was a popular visitor to Paisley Sheriff Court.
News of the latest inquiry comes after a Fatal Accident Inquiry highlighted several failings in how the emergency services responded to the incident.
Mum-of-two Ms Hume lay at the bottom of a mineshaft in East Ayrshire for six hours after fire and rescue bosses said specialist equipment could only be used to rescue fellow firefighters and not members of the public.
The health and safety rules delayed Ms Hume’s rescue and she suffered a fatal heart attack when she was eventually brought to the surface.
Mr Salmond said the FAI report by Sheriff Desmond Leslie included “many important lessons and issues”.
He added: “Given the serious nature of the determination by Sheriff Leslie, I’ve asked the Minister for Community Safety to make such a request of the Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services.
“He will then carry out a comprehensive inquiry and the report is then laid before this parliament.
“It will then be for ministers to decide what direction, if any, can be made.”
Speaking after the FAI report was published, Terry Gallanagh, a partner in McCusker, McElroy & Co and dean of the Paisley faculty of solicitors, told the Paisley Daily Express: “Alison is sorely missed. She was a lawyer with a very keen sense of justice, a sharp legal mind and an unquenching desire to represent clients in the best way she could.
“Alison was a livewire within the Paisley faculty and she is missed not only in McCusker, McElroy & Co but also in the wider sense among all the solicitors in the Paisley faculty.
“At this time, our thoughts are with her family and we wish them all the best going forward.”