Four workers have been killed in an explosion involving a chemical tank at the Wessex Water recycling centre near Bristol this morning.
Emergency services – including Wiltshire Air Ambulance – were called at around 11.20am to reports of a large explosion at the site in Avonmouth.
The fire service led the rescue operation, but despite the best efforts of all those involved, police have confirmed there have been four fatalities. This includes three employees of Wessex Water and one contractor. Specially trained officers have made contact with each of the families of those individuals.
Chief Inspector Mark Runacres said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies go out to them. Those officers will continue to provide them with all the support they need at this difficult time. A fifth person was also injured but their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
“A thorough investigation will be carried out into what happened today, involving a number of agencies and the health and safety executive in due course.
“I can reassure people living in the nearby area that there is not believed to be any ongoing public safety concerns following today’s events.
“We do however urge members of the public to avoid the area if possible while this emergency operation is ongoing.”
Wessex Water Chief Executive Colin Skellett said: “We are absolutely devastated that the tragic incident at our site earlier today has resulted in four fatalities.
“Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues of those involved.
“We are working with the Health and Safety Executive to understand what happened and why.”
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