Two workers have sadly died and a further five have been injured following an explosion at Celsa Steelworks in Cardiff.
The blast happened on Wednesday in the bar and rod mill, located within the basement of the plant. Four of the injured workers were taken to hospital whilst the other was treated at the scene. One of the workers who lost their lives was a married father of six.
A Devastating Explosion
Eyewitnesses have been reported as saying they felt the blast from half a mile away and saw thick black smoke flowing out across the site.
Dozens of emergency services vehicles were sent to the plant, where the fire service fought an "extremely difficult" fire in the basement. Celsa has confirmed they implemented their emergency protocols immediately following the explosion and that they suspended all operations before fire-fighters confirmed that the mill was safe.
Celsa have also confirmed they are helping police with their enquiries and are working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to find out exactly what caused the blast.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has described the "devastating" explosion as “a sad and brutal reminder of the risks that many of our workforce in heavy industry face every day”. A spokesperson for the union Community confirmed that "lessons will need to be learnt from what happened so that this cannot happen again”.
Earlier this year, three Celsa workers required hospital treatment for burns sustained whilst working at another of their Cardiff plants, in the Tremorfa district of the city.
This is a very sad event at a difficult time for the steel industry. We hope for the sake of the families and colleagues affected by this tragedy that the HSE and other authorities can discover the cause of the explosion so that lessons can be learned. Our thoughts are with the families of those involved at this sad time.
Matthew Tomlinson is Slater and Gordon’s Practice Group Leader for employer’s liability claims.