Asbestos fire at Donnington military base causes death of local woman

Last Updated on 18th September 2019 by Kirsty Smithson

Woman dies from mesothelioma after helping to clean up after asbestos fire

The Ministry of Defence have paid a large sum in compensation to the family of a woman who died as the result of an asbestos fire at one of their bases in Donnington, Shropshire.

Susan Maughan died from mesothelioma in 2015 aged 63 after having inhaled toxic dust back in 1983 from an army base fire.

Asbestos and other debris was scattered for miles around at the time of the fire.

The council didn’t start the clean up of the site until after 3 days of the fire occurring.

Because of this, local residents took matters into their own hands and started cleaning up the site themselves.

Susan, a mother of four, was one of those residents who got involved.

It’s the reason why she contracted the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, according to the family’s solicitors.

Asbestos fire at Donnington military base caused Susan Maughan's mesothelioma

Her 47 year old daughter, Lorraine, was just 11 at the time of the fire and said, “Sadly I don’t think mum will be the last victim.”

“My sisters and I now also worry for our health as we played with the dust and debris, which looked like snow, as did many other children.”

In  a statement, the Ministry of Defence have said, “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Susan Maughan.”

“When compensation claims are received they are considered on the basis of whether or not the MOD has a legal liability to pay. Where there is proven legal liability, compensation is paid.”

Slater and Gordon represented the family in court and acting Solicitor, Madelene Holdsworth, said, “The ash was spread across a 15-square mile area, much of it residential, so it is likely that hundreds, if not thousands, of people were exposed to asbestos that day.”

A BBC documentary back in 2008 highlighted how defence chiefs were actually warned that the base wasn’t safe prior to the fire in 1983.

Apparently, official documents show how safety measures were ‘ruled out’ in 1977 due to costs and operational grounds.

Source of article:-

Did you enjoy reading our article on asbestos fire at Donnington military base causes death of local woman?  Then check out our latest posts below.Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their properties, carrying out an asbestos survey in their building so as not to put employees at risk.

So make sure you contact our Armco office to arrange an asbestos survey, before it’s too late! 

Whether you need an asbestos management survey, or a refurbishment/ demolition survey, contact us on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting

Finally, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit book an asbestos awareness training course.

Latest News...

Published Sep 17, 2018

Get in touch

Skip to toolbar