Cheshire mill explosion: Search team hunts for missing four workers at Bosley blast site

Three explosions took place at wood treatment factory where at least 20 people were working at the time

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Cheshire Police have confirmed that three explosions caused the fire at Wood Flour Mills in Bosley where a search team is now looking for four missing factory workers.

Cheshire Police tweeted just after 10.00am that a search of the wood treatment factory, near Macclesfield has begun. Three men and one woman remain unaccounted for.

The search may soon be treated as a "recovery operation" rather than a rescue.

The four missing people are "believed to still be in the building", said Paul Hancock, chief fire officer for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Mr Hancock said: "There's still hope but the longer the incident continues without knowing or locating these four individuals, it is looking more like a recovery than a rescue operation. Until we account for them there's always hope."

Thirty-five people were tended to at the scene by emergency services and four others were taken to hospital.

One woman, a 29-year-old, suffered serious burns to her head, face, arms and chest.

Specialist search and rescue dogs are being used to try to locate the missing people and fire services are still tackling "pockets" of fire in the destroyed building.

Firefighters and police are working to establish the cause of the blast and are protecting the area as a potential crime scene.

Firefighters at the scene of the Wood Flour Mills explosions in Bosley, near Macclesfield

Read more:
Cheshire flour mill explosion: Major incident declared after at least 'four people missing' in fire

Fifteen fire engines and approximately 70 firefighters from Cheshire Fire and Rescue services attended the scene on Friday morning after the four-storey building collapsed in flames.

The building contained highly flammable wood flooring equipment as well as heating oil, kerosene, acetylene and asbestos.

The search teams now present have experience working in the aftermath of earthquakes in Nepal, Japan and New Zealand.

Firefighters are continuing to use water to cool silos on the site and assess temperatures using thermal image cameras.