Flags are flown at half mast out of respect to blast victims
FLAGS are being flown at half mast across Cheshire East as a mark of respect following the tragedy at the mill.
The flag above Macclesfield town hall is among those lowered by council bosses, who have praised the reaction of the community following the incident.
Cheshire East bosses said council officers had a key role to play after the blast ripped through the mill.
They said families had been evacuated from around 20 homes.
Council staff were sent to help evacuated families and a ‘family and friends’ centre was set up.
Congleton Leisure Centre was put on standby to provide transport and the council arranged accommodation for families at local hotels.
The council is working to find other job opportunities after offers of employment were made by local 9.12am: Reports of an explosion at Wood Flour Mills in Bosley are received 10.20am: Police declare it as a ‘major incident’ 10.27am: Residents are told to keep all doors and windows closed to keep any smoke out of their homes 10.35am: It emerges that four people may be trapped inside the building 10.48am: Emergency services confirm that six ambulances, two rapid response vehicles, two doctors, four managers and the air ambulance have been scrambled to the scene 10.55am: The fire service says 15 fire engines from Congleton, Bollington, Winsford, Crewe and Macclesfield are on site 10.58am: Police reveal there are multiple casualties and people are trapped in the burning building 11.12am: The four-storey building collapses 11.23am: Dramatic video shared on social media shows smoke billowing out of the building 11.29am: All power to 165 homes in the area is cut 11.35pm: GB helicopters release dramatic aerial companies.
Council leader Michael Jones Coun Jones has urged all other businesses and organisations to do the same.
He said: “We’re doing all we can to help those affected after a devastating incident like this.
“There are families whose homes have been damaged and they have had to be relocated to emergency accommodation.
“This is a small community with the factory at its heart.”
After the explosion, the council issued a warning to residents to keep doors and windows shut to protect them from toxic fumes and officers were sent to monitor the air.
Children at Bosley St Mary’s Primary School – which has around 40 pupils – about a mile from the scene were kept inside the building and the council’s Adult Social Care Team has made contact with vulnerable residents in the area.
A drop-in facility for people affected by the incident was set up at the school on Monday, with specialists providing support on housing, employment and benefits.
Councillor Lesley Smetham, who represents Bosley on Cheshire East, said: “Everyone is pulling together.
“It’s a reflection of the type of community we are.
“There are something like 170 homes, 400 residents affected.
“This has had a big impact on a small community.”
●● Macclesfield town hall, flag at half mast