Friday 27 April 2018

One body located but three mill workers still missing after explosion

Search and rescue teams hunt through the debris at the scene of explosion and fire at Wood Flour Mills, Bosley, Cheshire
Search and rescue teams hunt through the debris at the scene of explosion and fire at Wood Flour Mills, Bosley, Cheshire
Feared dead: Derek Moore, Dorothy Bailey, Jason Shingler and William Bark

Pat Hurst Cheshire

A body has been found by rescue teams searching for four workers missing after an explosion and fire at a UK mill.

The families of William Barks (51), Dorothy Bailey (62), Jason Shingler (38), and Derek Moore (62) have been informed but the body has not yet been positively identified.

The remaining three are still missing somewhere in the devastated wreckage of the wood flour mill after an explosion and 1,000C inferno reduced the four-storey building to rubble.

Police and fire chiefs say fire and rescue teams have been working non-stop since the blast around 9.10am on Friday at the mill in the village of Bosley, Cheshire.

But officials concede that while they carry on the methodical search of the site, the chances of finding anyone alive are fading.

It emerged yesterday that council officers had been on the site two weeks ago to supervise a clean-up.

Guy Hindle, assistant chief constable of Cheshire Police, said: "We are still in search phase, we are still looking for signs of life down at the scene... at some point in the next days we will hand over the scene from fire to police for a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive to establish the cause of what happened down there, together with fire investigators."

Paul Hancock, chief fire officer for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We firmly believe we are searching the right areas.

"Our thoughts continue to be with the families.

"The whole mental psyche of the crews down at the site is they are looking for people still alive. They will not give up hope until they locate these individuals.

"The scene down there is one of complete devastation. We have a building that has exploded from the inside and subsequently collapsed in on itself.

"There are huge complexities around the challenges for the search and rescue teams - we are working close to a bank of six silos, three of which have fallen over in the explosion and the other three are still quite unstable."

Irish Independent

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