Teenage boy among four dead in explosion at water works

Teenage boy among four dead in explosion at water works
Avon and Somerset Police have named the four victims who lost their lives in an explosion in Avonmouth on Thursday (Picture: SWNS)

The four people who died in an explosion at a waste water treatment works near Bristol have been named.

Michael James, 64, Brian Vickery, 63, Raymond White, 57, and Luke Wheaton, 16, all lost their lives in the tragic incident on Thursday morning.

Emergency crews rushed to the scene at the Wessex Water’s Bristol water recycling centre in Avonmouth at 11.20am on Thursday.

The victims were believed to have been working on top of the waste water tank when it exploded and sent one body flying around 150 metres from the blast.

A fifth person was left with non-life-threatening injuries and is now at home, Avon and Somerset Police said.

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Supt Simon Brickwood said: ‘I’d like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to the families of those involved in yesterday’s tragic incident.

‘An investigation has been launched into the causes of the explosion, with the support of partner agencies and the Health and Safety Executive.

‘This is likely to be ongoing for some time and we will be keeping the victims’ families informed throughout.

A chemical tank at Wessex Water's water recycling facility which yesterday exploded. bristol. 4 December 2020. See SWNS story SWBRavonmouth
A chemical tank at Wessex Water\’s water recycling facility which exploded on Thursday (Picture: Jake McPherson SWNS)
Flowers at the scene of the explosion at a water recycling centre in Kings Weston Lane, Avonmouth, Bristol. December 4, 2020 (Picture: Jake McPherson / SWNS)
epa08859591 Emergency services at the site of the explosion Avonmouth, Bristol, Britain, 03 December 2020. According to reports, there have been multiple casualties and that the search for survivors is ongoing after a huge blast in a sewage plant in Avonmouth. EPA/STRINGER
Emergency services at the site of the explosion Avonmouth, Bristol, Britain, 03 December 2020 (Picture: EPA)

‘We appreciate the impact this incident has had on the local community and we thank those affected for their patience while our investigative work is carried out.

‘The local neighbourhood policing team is available to address any concerns members of the public may have.

‘I’d like to pay tribute to those involved in the emergency response, who have been at the scene throughout the night under very difficult and challenging circumstances.’

Giles Hyder, HSE’s head of operations in the South West said: ‘We send our deepest condolences to the families of those who tragically died. It is important a joint investigation is carried out.

‘We will provide specialist support to what is likely to be a complex investigation under the command of the police.’

Wessex Water Chief Executive Colin Skellett said: ‘We are all absolutely devastated by what has happened.

‘Our hearts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of those who lost their lives during the tragic event on Thursday.

‘I know from the thoughts and comments I have received from so many, that this has affected the whole Wessex Water family.

‘I know Avonmouth, I worked there for many years, and I know the people, some of whom have lost their lives during this terrible incident.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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Bristol – Metro