a / the investigation (into the accident) - article

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Senior Member

this is a part of my own text:

In January 2012, a toxic gas leak at a Marfrig Global Foods (previously Marfig Alimentos) plant in Brazil killed four workers and left 20 others overcome by fumes. An / the investigation revealed that there was a chemical reaction during the unloading of inputs by an outsourced company.

I'm pretty sure I can use 'an' in this context. Can I use 'the' instead, meaning something like: 'the investigation that concerned the accident'? Or would it be better not to, because there could have been several different investigations regarding this?
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I would write something like "The investigation that followed/The ensuing investigation revealed" (if you want to use the).
    No mention has been made of an investigation, so the use of "The investigation" by itself is somewhat suspect. It is better in my view to qualify it in some way.

    But "An investigation revealed" is the normal style of writing here.


    Senior Member
    I'd say 'the' is a good choice in this context. It is implied that the investigation refers to the accident, and if you say 'the', I don't think the reader would wonder whether there were more than one investigations carried out.
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