Comment: How did Legionella outbreak happen?

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NO-ONE should be too surprised there will be no prosecutions over the Legionella outbreak that hit 
tEdinburgh three years ago.

There was never much chance of any company or individual being brought to justice for failings that left four people dead.

The incubation period of this deadly disease was too long to allow a source to be accurately identified.

By the time investigators got round to searching for clues in industrial buildings and cooling towers in the west of Edinburgh, it was too late.

Yesterday there was understandable dismay from some of the relatives of those who died.

Catherine McDonald, whose partner Robert “Bert” Air contracted the illness while working at a building site in Gorgie Road, said: “I am hurt, angry and disappointed.”

These relatives have been denied the closure a criminal prosecution might have brought.

But there are other ways they can be helped to come to terms with the needless deaths of their loved ones.

This newspaper believes there should now be a Fatal Accident Inquiry into these fatalities and what caused them.

It may not be able to point a finger of blame. But it can offer the bereaved a comprehensive explanation of the chain of events that ultimately left them in mourning.

The families of the four who died are not the only people who need answers.

Almost 100 people fell ill with suspected Legionella in 2012, as fear gripped the Capital.

Concern was widespread as the authorities fought to limit the outbreak.

The city as a whole has a right to know exactly what happened.

And to be satisfied all lessons have been learned to prevent it happening again.

A Fatal Accident Inquiry is the only way this can happen.