Avonmouth explosion: four dead in ‘major incident’ at water treatment plant

Four workers have died in a major explosion at a water treatment plant in Avonmouth, police confirmed.

A major incident was declared at the Wessex Water Bristol water recycling center in Avonmouth, after reports of a ‘big explosion’ at 11:22 a.m.

This afternoon, police said three Wessex Water workers and a contractor died from the blast.

Another person sustained non-fatal injuries.

The families of those who died have been notified, Chief Inspector Mark Runacres said at a press conference at the scene this afternoon.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing a loud bang, seeing people running and “at least 10 ambulances” rushing towards what was declared by police as a “major incident”.

For live updates on the tragedy click here

The explosion occurred around 11:20 a.m. this morning in a wastewater treatment plant
(Image: PA)

Avon and Somerset Police said investigations were underway into the exact cause of the explosion.

Chief Inspector Mark Runacres said there was no ongoing threat to the public.

Speaking at a press conference at the scene, he said: “Emergency services were called at around 11:20 am for reports of a large explosion involving one of the chemical tanks. on the Kings Weston Lane site.

“The firefighters led the rescue operation, but unfortunately, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, we can confirm that there were four fatalities, including three Wessex Water employees and a contractor.

“Specially trained officers have made contact this afternoon with each of the families of these people and informed them of the sad news.

Police at the scene of this morning’s tragedy
(Image: Jake McPherson / SWNS)

“It is a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies are with them. ”

Wessex Water Managing Director Colin Skellett said: “We are absolutely devastated that the tragic incident at our site earlier today left four people dead.

“Our hearts go out to the families, friends and colleagues of those involved. We are working with the Health and Safety Executive to understand what happened and why. ”

A force spokesperson said: “An explosion has reportedly occurred involving one of the chemical tanks at Wessex Water’s water recycling center in Bristol.

“A rescue operation was subsequently carried out by firefighters, involving five devices and two hub crews, and we can confirm that there were a number of casualties.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the explosion
(Image: Paul Ingham)

“A full investigation of the incident will be conducted. ”

After the deaths were confirmed, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘Deeply saddened to learn that four people have been killed in the explosion of water plants in Avonmouth.

“Our hearts are with the victims and their families.

“Thank you to the emergency services who went to the scene. ”

An air ambulance was called to the scene
(Image: PA)

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Air Ambulance confirmed that crews did not transport any patients to hospital.

He said: “Wiltshire Air Ambulance was called to an incident in Avonmouth, Bristol at 11:20 am.

“We attended in our helicopter and rapid response vehicle, with the assistance of our paramedics on the scene. ”

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