In­ci­dent is ‘worst seen in 10 years’

Macclesfield Express - - BOSLEY TRAGEDY: ONE WEEK ON -

RES­CUE teams have de­scribed the Bosley mill ex­plo­sion as the worst in­ci­dent they have dealt with in ten years.

Emer­gency crews are painstak­ingly pick­ing through tonnes of me­tal, con­crete and brick­work at the site of Wood Flour Mill, on Tun­stall Road, which ex­ploded on Fri­day, 17.

Fire crews have been con­tin­u­ously pump­ing wa­ter into large con­tain­ers of wood flour at the site, to try and bring down the tem­per­a­tures and keep fires un­der con­trol. Last week they were still fight­ing pock­ets of fire hid­den in the vast piles of twisted me­tal.

Paul Hitchen, of the Ur­ban Search and Res­cue team, said it is the worst in­ci­dent of its kind he has seen in ten years.

He told media at a brief­ing at the site: “It’s ex­tremely dan­ger­ous and ar­du­ous for the res­cuers.

“There’s a mas­sive amount of me­tal, con­crete and brick­work which we need to move to con­tinue the search.

“The scale of the in­ci­dent is some­thing unique. The scale is un­prece­dented in this coun­try in the last 10 years.

“The pri­or­ity is the res­cue of the ca­su­al­ties. The size of the site, the com­plex­ity, the amount of de­bris, ma­chin­ery, ma­te­ri­als of con­struc­tion, all make it a dif­fi­cult op­er­a­tion.”

He said that see­ing the fam­i­lies at the site gave res­cue crews a sense of fo­cus to the res­cue.

He said: “They feel sym­pa­thy and want to do what they do to bring this to a con­clu­sion.”

A photo and trib­ute to Wil­liam Barks has been placed at the scene, with a card from the fam­ily which reads: “Home does not feel the same.”

Peter Crowcroft, in­ci­dent com­man­der from Cheshire Po­lice, said: “The scene is one of dev­as­ta­tion and it’s a metic­u­lous res­cue op­er­a­tion.

“Our thoughts are with the fam­ily at this time.

“Search and res­cue will con­tinue with all emer­gency ser­vices work­ing to­gether to bring it to a con­clu­sion.

“See­ing the fam­i­lies here to­day has re­ally brought it home for the res­cue team. We knew the fam­i­lies were here and it brought home a sense of the op­er­a­tion and for us to do a thor­ough and pro­fes­sional job as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

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