It remains Scotland’s “forgotten” disaster, the worst peace-time explosion in the country’s history which killed 22 shop workers, customers and commuters and injured 100 half a century ago.

The 1971 Clarkston Disaster happened when a pocket of gas below a row of suburban shops in Glasgow erupted – caving in an overhead car park and spilling its cars into the scene of destruction.

The might of the explosion was likened to a blast from a 300lb bomb.

MP Kirsten Oswald is using next week’s 50th anniversary to rekindle anger that no one was held responsible for the “devastating impact” the tragedy had on her local community, the losses from which “are felt to this day”. An early-day motion has been laid at Westminster by the MP for East Renfrewshire.

Clarkston Glasgow main street September 2011

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An inquiry was staged just four months after the October 21 explosion, lasting only 19 days and while some of the injured still lay in hospital beds.

The Fatal Accident Inquiry did not find anyone responsible, despite shop workers complaining of a smell of gas for five days before.

An independent investigator later told his son the gas board “got away with one”.

Neil Macpherson will attend a low-key ceremony organised by the local council next Thursday afternoon in memory of his sister, Karen Fisher, who was just 25 when she died in the disaster.

The retired BBC finance executive, 63, from Newton Mearns, said: “The FAI was conducted with indecent haste just four months later. In today’s world, that is nothing – they sometimes take 10 years.

“If it was an accident, with no one to blame, it would be somehow easier to accept. But gas was leaking for a week, with some people in the shops feeling sick and nauseous. Different safety standards were in place then but, if it happened today, those shops would have been shut and the area cleared.”

Neil Macpherson, whose sister Karen Fisher died in the Clarkston gas explosion

Neil also considers a number of small memorials to the disaster to be inadequate, citing the impressive garden of remembrance to the nine people killed in the Stockline plastics factory explosion in Maryhill in 2004.

East Renfrewshire Council said: “There are three plaques and a memorial tree in a prominent and busy location near the shops to remember those caught up in the Clarkston explosion.

“East Renfrewshire Council is holding a special memorial service to mark the anniversary.”

The succeeding body for gas distribution in the community is SGN. Asked if it considered that an apology to the victims’ families may be appropriate or if a donation could be made to erect a fitting memorial, a spokesman said: “Unfortunately we’re unable to comment.”

The Crown Office said it was not the remit of an FAI to apportion blame and insisted, due to the time elapsed, it is not possible to comment on the conduct of the 1971 Inquiry. It added: “Our thoughts are with the families affected by the disaster as this anniversary approaches.”