Four workers who died in horror explosion at water factories “had no chance”

Four workers were killed today when a waste tank they were working on at a recycling plant exploded.

They were on the roof of the metal storage unit when it was torn apart by the explosion – sending a victim flying 150 meters away.

An eyewitness at the Geneco factory in Avonmouth, near Bristol, said: “They didn’t stand a chance.”

Police said three of the victims worked for Geneco’s parent company, Wessex Water, and the fourth was a contractor.

A fifth worker miraculously survived the blast, which rocked the busy port area shortly after 11:22 a.m.

The explosion rocked the busy port area shortly after 11:22 a.m.
(Image: STRINGER / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)

Fire and ambulance crews rushed to the scene after dozens of 999 calls from workers at nearby sites.

They found the bodies of three victims near the wreckage of the tank and the fourth further away.

Specialized rescue teams used heat search cameras, sniffer dogs and a helicopter to search for debris for other survivors.

The eyewitness, who works at a nearby business and did not want to be named, said: “I thought a bomb went off. It was terrifying.

Four people died after the explosion
(Image: Jake McPherson / SWNS)

“I work at a few warehouses but that stopped me dead in my tracks.

“I can’t imagine what it must have been like for those guys who work on the tank. They didn’t stand a chance.

Geneco was created by Wessex Water to transform waste into biofertilizers and renewable gas and electricity.

The anaerobic digestion facility is located in the company’s largest water recycling plant. It processes tons of food waste from homes, supermarkets and businesses in the South West.

Emergency services on scene in Avonmouth, Bristol
(Image: Jake McPherson / SWNS)

It can generate 10 GWh of energy per year from biogas, including highly flammable methane.

Photos taken shortly after the explosion showed the roof of the ruptured tank partially torn off. It has been used to store processed biosolids, which are then used as a recycled organic soil conditioner.

Kieran Jenkins, who works at a nearby business, said he saw people “run away”. “I heard a bang, we didn’t know what was going on,” he says.

“We were inside the warehouse, the whole warehouse was shaking.

A police investigation is underway
(Image: STRINGER / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)

“We literally stood there in shock. We looked out the windows and all we could see were people running. I don’t know how to explain how loud it was – but I felt like it was going straight to your ear, that’s how loud it was.

Avon and Somerset Police said a “full investigation” would be conducted into the cause of the explosion.

Chief Inspector Mark Runacres said specially trained officers informed the families of the four victims of the “tragic incident”.

Luke Gazzard, Avon Fire and Rescue Service, added, “It’s terribly sad.”

Colin Skellett, Managing Director of Wessex Water, said: “We are absolutely devastated that the tragic incident left four people dead.

“Our hearts go out to the families, friends and colleagues of those involved.”

He said the company was working with the health and safety official to find out what happened.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘Deeply saddened to learn that four people have been killed in the explosion of a water plant in Avonmouth.

“Our hearts are with the victims and their families. Thank you to the emergency services who attended the scene. ”

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “My thoughts are with those affected.”

Bristol City Mayor Marvin Rees said: “This year has already been so difficult. This news of further loss of human life is another terrible blow. As a city, we will mourn them.

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