Flags are flown at half mast out of re­spect to blast vic­tims

Macclesfield Express - - BOSLEY MILL TRAGEDY -

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

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