Ufaorgsintez officials convicted/
A court in Ufa announced a verdict in the case of the death of an employee of PJSC Ufaorgsintez during a fire at the enterprise in January 2021. Boss production of synthetic ethyl alcohol, Alexey Gerasev, leading process engineer Pavel Yuferov and process engineer Andrey Berdin were found guilty of violating industrial safety rules and received suspended sentences. Both the prosecutor’s office and the defense, who intend to challenge it, were dissatisfied with the verdict.
On October 4, the Ordzhonikidze District Court of Ufa issued a verdict in a criminal case against three officials of PJSC Ufaorgsintez (a manufacturer of organic synthesis products, part of Bashneft), the press service of the Bashkortostan Prosecutor’s Office reported. The head of the production of synthetic ethyl alcohol, Alexey Gerasev, leading process engineer Pavel Yuferov and process engineer Andrei Berdin were found guilty of violating the industrial safety requirements of hazardous production facilities, resulting in the death of a person through negligence (Part 2 of Article 217 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
On the evening of January 25, 2021, two containers with petroleum products caught fire on the territory of Ufaorgsintez. As a result of the incident, one person was killed and one was injured. As it was established in court, the emergency occurred due to the defendants’ violation of safety rules at a dangerous production facility.
As a result, the press service of the republic’s prosecutor’s office reports, the walls of the container’s body were destroyed “under the influence of high values of mechanical stress, followed by ignition and fire.”
Ufaorgsintez suffered material damage amounting to more than 300 million rubles.
The defendants did not admit guilt.
The court sentenced Alexey Gerasev and Pavel Yuferov to suspended sentences of two and a half years of imprisonment, and to Andrey Berdin a two-year suspended sentence. All three were given a probationary period of two years, and they were also deprived of the right to engage in activities at explosive facilities in the field of oil refining and production of organic synthesis products for one year.
The prosecutor’s office intends to appeal the verdict due to its lenience. The state prosecution asked the court to sentence Alexey Gerasev and Pavel Yuferov to three years in a penal colony, and Andrey Berdin – two and a half years in a penal colony with a two-year ban on working at explosive petrochemical facilities.
Pavel Yuferov’s lawyer Bulat Ziakaev also announced his intention to file an appeal. He explained that his client, in particular, was accused of improperly repairing a device in 2016 that preceded the one that exploded in the technological chain, and on the day of the accident he instructed his subordinates to carry out the procedure for starting production not in accordance with the approved technological regulations. Mr. Ziakaev noted that Pavel Yuferov was not responsible for the device mentioned in the case in 2016, and the events on the day of the accident were “interpreted incorrectly.”
According to the lawyer, due to the emergency situation, it was necessary to be guided not by the technological regulations mentioned by the investigation, but by the emergency response plan.
“All the actions that the personnel performed that day correspond to this document,” the interlocutor noted. He added that an outside specialist, whose conclusion was added to the case by the defense, came to the conclusion that the staff “had no other method or option of action.” The technological regulations in force at that time, to which the investigation and the state prosecution referred, “were written incorrectly,” and after the accident at the plant they were rewritten. Now, Mr. Ziakaev emphasized, the document provides for the actions that his client performed on the day of the emergency.
It was not possible to contact Robert Fayzullin, Andrei Berdin’s defense attorney, and Vadim Khabibullin, who represents the interests of Alexei Gerasev. Bulat Ziakaev did not rule out that they will also appeal the verdict.