Employee killed in pie factory explosion

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The Independent Online

A man has died and six others were injured in an explosion at a pie factory in Huddersfield yesterday.

Seven men were working at Andrew Jones Pies, in Old Leeds Road, when the blast brought down part of the roof and started a fire just after 5am. A 38-year-old man died and another man, aged 23, was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where he was described as being in a critical condition. The other five men suffered minor injuries.

An operation is now under way to make the building safe so the dead man's body can be recovered. More than 40 firefighters were called to the scene, close to the town centre, with crews coming from across West Yorkshire. West Yorkshire Fire Service's group manager Keith Robinson said it was too early to identify the cause of the blast but he said it was not suspicious. Earlier reports had referred to a gas explosion.

Mr Robinson said: "It's Easter, it's Good Friday and nobody wants this kind of thing to happen." He said the explosion and fire had affected part of the structure and it appeared that the main damage was due to a roof collapse.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police confirmed the person who died was from the Salterhebble area of Halifax, while the man taken to hospital was from the Crossland Moor area of Huddersfield.

The spokesman said: "Due to structural damage at the bakery there have been difficulties in extracting the body of the deceased from the building.

"Inquiries into the cause of the explosion are ongoing and a joint investigation involving the police, fire service and the Health and Safety Executive is currently under way."

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