An explosion and resulting fireball at the closed Redcar steelworks on Teesside, UK earlier today has seriously injured two men working from a truck mounted platform. We can now confirm that their injuries proved fatal.
The two men were working external components around the old - long decommissioned - coke ovens that are due to be dismantled and were using a large truck mounted lift from the Nationwide Platforms fleet to reach a tube bundle, when a loud explosion was heard and a massive fireball ensued, engulfing the top half of the boom and the basket.
No details on their condition have been released.
This is clearly a tragic event which has affected the lives of two men who were simply doing their job, when this incident occurred. While there have been reports that the explosion occurred after a steel pipe was cut, it has not been possible to confirm that this was the case at all. The facts will of course come out in due course, but in the meantime we must just hope that the two men not only survive, but will be able to lead normal lives after their recovery.
It has now been confirmed that the two men named as John Mackay, 49, from Edinburgh, and Tommy Williams, 65, from Warwickshire, - one of which is the Nationwide Platforms operator - have died. The families have been informed.
Nationwide Platforms incident statement
Fatal gas explosion at former SSI steelworks site in Redcar
20 September 2019 – It is with deep regret and shock that we confirm that a much loved Nationwide Platforms employee died as a result of yesterday’s explosion at the former SSI steelworks site in Redcar.
According to Cleveland Police, another person also lost their life in the incident. The families of the two men have been informed.
Mark Keily, health, safety and environmental director, Nationwide Platforms, said: “Our thoughts are with the victims’ families, friends and colleagues at this awful time. We are in close contact with out employee’s family to ensure they receive every bit of support and guidance possible.”
“Meanwhile Nationwide Platforms is, among others, assisting the authorities with their enquiries. At this early stage, we can’t comment further. As a leading powered access rental provider, we take our responsibilities for health and safety extremely seriously.”