Incident is ‘worst seen in 10 years’
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.”