Family appeal for help after former Nottinghamshire power station worker’s asbestos related death

The widow of a former West Burton Power Station worker is appealing to his former workmates for help in establishing how he was exposed to the asbestos that claimed his life.
John Turner died of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos.John Turner died of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos.
John Turner died of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos.

John Turner, from Retford, died aged 68 from mesothelioma, a terminal form of lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure often decades previously.

The father-of-six and grandfather-of-24 had instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to seek justice following his alleged asbestos exposure at West Burton Power Station.

Following his death John’s family, including widow Doreen, aged 75, took on his fight for answers.

They have joined their legal team in appealing for people who worked at West Burton Power Station, near Retford, where John was based in the 1980s and early 1990s, to come forward with information about working practices at that time.

John was employed by Deborah Services between 1984 and 1988 and by Chieftain Insulation Services from 1988 to 1991. In both roles he undertook asbestos stripping and removal of the material from pipes.

Simone Hardy, the specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing his family, said: “John was a much-loved husband, dad and granddad whose death has had a considerable impact on his family. His death is another reminder of the terrible legacy asbestos has left behind.

“Any information could prove vital in providing his family with the answers they deserve and some form of closure.”

John’s symptoms began in 2016 when he developed a cough while on holiday in Benidorm with Doreen. After developing chest pains John, a keen gardener, sought medical advice.

Following a number of tests he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2017. He died that October.

Prior to his death John told his legal team that the process of removing asbestos would involve erecting a tent in the area. He said that sometimes workers would be given air fed safety masks but the batteries would often fail. Other times workers removing bags of rubbish would be given paper masks and the bags would split, sending dust into the air.

Doreen, who was married to John for 19 years, said: “Prior to his diagnosis John was very active. He was always doing some form of exercise or you would find him in the garden or at his two allotments. He loved them and was very proud of them.

“John loved fishing and would often go down to Lincoln Canal and would sometimes take the grandkids.

“When John was diagnosed with mesothelioma we were absolutely devastated. I know that John was anxious that he might have it because he knew people who had died from the illness.

“In the months following his diagnosis he lost around seven stones. He struggled to walk and became virtually housebound. John had always been a strong and proud man and to see him at the end of his life as the cancer got the better of him was heart-breaking. John adored his family and we are devastated that he is no longer with us.”

Anyone with information about working conditions John faced while working at West Burton Power Station employed by Deborah Services or Chieftain Insulation in the 1980s and 1990s is asked to call Simone Hardy or Rebecca Coupland at Irwin Mitchell on 0114 274 4960 or email [email protected] or [email protected].

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