There have been four deaths after a large explosion that has occurred at a sewage plant in the suburb of Avonmouth, near Bristol
The explosion is believed to have involved one of the chemical tanks that are located at the Wessex Water recycling plant.
Avon and Somerset police force have confirmed that “a number of workers” were on top of the structure at the time that the incident took place.
Fire crews were called to the scene at 11.22am where they confirmed that there had been multiple casualties. Later it was confirmed that at least four people have died including three employees of Wessex Water, and one contractor, police have said.
This comes after, in October two people were killed in an explosion at a shop in west London, the fire brigade confirmed. The explosion happened in a shop underneath flats in the Southall area. London Fire Brigade (LFB) said that crews were undertaking a “complex operation” at the scene on King Street in Ealing.
A statement from Avon Fire and Rescue said: “Crews from Avonmouth, Southmead, Yate, Patchway, Kingswood and Temple are currently attending. We can confirm there are multiple casualties on site.”
“We are joined by Avon and Somerset Police and the ambulance service on site.”
“The incident is ongoing.”
Police have officially declared a major incident and said that a full investigation into the explosion would be conducted by the force.
A witness of the incident, Jawad Burhan, said that he had seen a helicopter “looking for missing people” and that the local police had shut a road that is near to the tank which he believed to have been part of a waste centre.
He said: “I heard the sound, I’m working beside the building in another warehouse. After ten minutes I saw the helicopter coming and the police.”
Mark Runacres, the Chief inspector for Avon and Somerset police has said: “Officers remain at the scene and are likely to be for some time as we work together with other agencies in dealing with this major incident.”
“A cordon has been set up and we’d advise members of the public to avoid the area at this time where possible to allow the emergency services to carry out their work.”
“Police enquiries into exactly what happened are at a very early stage and are continuing.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted to say she was “deeply concerned” about the explosion.
This comes after Doctors, scientists and the hospitality industry all say that Boris Johnson’s plans for a Christmas bubble is a mistake; for five days between the dates of the 23rd and the 27th of December, people throughout the UK will be able to mix with other families in a Christmas bubble.
She wrote on Twitter: “Deeply concerned at reports of a warehouse explosion in Avonmouth.
“My thoughts are with those affected and our brave emergency services working hard to resolve this incident.”
Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, said: “This is a serious incident and my thoughts are with those workers who have injured on site today.”
“I’m grateful to our fire, police and ambulance staff for their quick response.”