Four dead in explosion at waste water treatment works

Four people have died following an explosion at a waste water treatment works near Bristol.

A major incident was declared at Wessex Water's Bristol water recycling centre in Kings Weston Lane, Avonmouth, after reports of a "large explosion" on Thursday.

Among those killed were three employees of Wessex Water and one contractor, Chief Inspector Mark Runacres, from Avon and Somerset Police, said.

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Avonmouth explosion
The entrance to Avonmouth Docks, where a fire in a scrap metal pile has been alight since the early hours of the morning causing smoke to drift across the Avonmouth area affecting the M5 and M49 motorway networks. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
The entrance to Avonmouth Docks, where a fire in a scrap metal pile has been alight since the early hours of the morning causing smoke to drift across the Avonmouth area affecting the M5 and M49 motorway networks. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
The scene in Avomouth, Bristol, as fire crews, police and paramedics are responding to a large explosion at a warehouse where there have been multiple casualties.
The scene in Avomouth, Bristol, as fire crews, police and paramedics are responding to a large explosion at a warehouse where there have been multiple casualties.
The scene in Avomouth, Bristol, as fire crews, police and paramedics are responding to a large explosion at a warehouse where there have been multiple casualties.
A police officer staffs a cordon as investigators work at a waste water treatment plant in Avonmouth, near Bristol in southwest England on December 4, 2020 after an explosion the previous day. - Four people died on December 3 when a chemical tank exploded at a waste water treatment plant near Bristol in western England, police said. A fifth person was wounded in the explosion at the plant in Avonmouth, but their injuries were said to not be life-threatening. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture shows a damaged silo at a waste water treatment plant in Avonmouth, near Bristol in southwest England on December 4, 2020 after an explosion the previous day. - Four people died on December 3 when a chemical tank exploded at a waste water treatment plant near Bristol in western England, police said. A fifth person was wounded in the explosion at the plant in Avonmouth, but their injuries were said to not be life-threatening. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture shows a damaged silo at a waste water treatment plant in Avonmouth, near Bristol in southwest England on December 4, 2020 after an explosion the previous day. - Four people died on December 3 when a chemical tank exploded at a waste water treatment plant near Bristol in western England, police said. A fifth person was wounded in the explosion at the plant in Avonmouth, but their injuries were said to not be life-threatening. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture shows a damaged silo (R) at a waste water treatment plant in Avonmouth, near Bristol in southwest England on December 4, 2020 after an explosion the previous day. - Four people died on December 3 when a chemical tank exploded at a waste water treatment plant near Bristol in western England, police said. A fifth person was wounded in the explosion at the plant in Avonmouth, but their injuries were said to not be life-threatening. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture shows a damaged silo at a waste water treatment plant in Avonmouth, near Bristol in southwest England on December 4, 2020 after an explosion the previous day. - Four people died on December 3 when a chemical tank exploded at a waste water treatment plant near Bristol in western England, police said. A fifth person was wounded in the explosion at the plant in Avonmouth, but their injuries were said to not be life-threatening. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture shows a damaged silo at a waste water treatment plant in Avonmouth, near Bristol in southwest England on December 4, 2020 after an explosion the previous day. - Four people died on December 3 when a chemical tank exploded at a waste water treatment plant near Bristol in western England, police said. A fifth person was wounded in the explosion at the plant in Avonmouth, but their injuries were said to not be life-threatening. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
The entrance to Avonmouth Docks, where a fire in a scrap metal pile has been alight since the early hours of the morning causing smoke to drift across the Avonmouth area affecting the M5 and M49 motorway networks. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
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Speaking at a press conference at the scene, he said: "Emergency services were called at approximately 11.20am to reports of a large explosion involving one of the chemical tanks at the site off Kings Weston Lane.

"The fire service led the rescue operation but sadly, despite the best efforts of all those involved, we can confirm there have been four fatalities. This includes three employees of Wessex Water and one contractor.

"Specially trained officers have this afternoon made contact with each of the families of those individuals and informed them of the sad news.

"This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies go out to them."

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