Teenager named among four people killed in water works explosion

A teenager has been named among the four people who died in an explosion at a water plant in Avonmouth yesterday (December 3).

Michael James, 64; Brian Vickery, 63; Raymond White, 57; and Luke Wheaton, 16, lost their lives in the incident at around 11:20 am.

Police investigations are underway following the explosion at Wessex Water’s water recycling center in Bristol.

Emergency services were called for reports of a major explosion involving one of the chemical tanks on the site, off Kings Weston Lane.

A cordon on the site is likely to persist for the next few days as police investigate the cause of the incident, with the support of the Health and Safety Executive and a team of chemical and mechanical experts.

Specially trained agents support the families of those killed in the incident. Formal identification has yet to take place and post mortem exams are underway.

A fifth injured person is now at home and investigators will talk to them if necessary.

Supt Simon Brickwood of Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: “I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families of those involved in yesterday’s tragic incident.

“With the support of partner agencies and the Health and Safety Executive, an investigation has started into the causes of the explosion. This will probably take some time and we will keep the families of the victims constantly informed.

“We appreciate the impact this incident has had on the local community and thank those affected for their patience while our investigative work continues. The local neighborhood police team is available to address any public concerns.

“I want to pay tribute to those involved in the emergency response who have been on the scene all night long under very difficult and challenging conditions.”

Giles Hyder, HSE’s Chief of Operations Southwest: “We offer our deepest condolences to the families of those tragically killed. It is important that joint research is done.

“We will provide specialist support in a presumably complex police-led investigation.”

Colin Skellett, Chief Executive of Wessex Water said, “We are all absolutely devastated about what happened.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of those who died in the tragic event on Thursday.

“I know from the thoughts and comments I have received from so many that this has affected the entire Wessex Water family.

“I know Avonmouth, I worked there for many years, and I know the people, some of whom lost their lives in this horrible incident.”