Massive Explosions Rocks Mill Plant In Cheshire, UK

Explosion Alert

Four people are unaccounted for after two explosions and a fire at a wood mill in Bosley, Cheshire, say rescue services.

Three people have been taken to hospital with burns and a major incident has been declared around the site at Wood Flour Mills on Tunstall Road.

Specialist search teams are being used to find the missing people and fire officials say there is the risk of further explosions.

Fire service teams said the scene was one of devastation when they arrived, with one four-storey building flattened.

They say 20 people were working at the mill site at the time. Crews treated the walking wounded as the site was evacuated.

A 29-year-old woman suffered serious burns and blast injuries to her head, face, arms and chest, West Midlands Ambulance Service said.

She was flown to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, for further specialist treatment, while two other people who suffered burns have also been taken to hospital.

Fifteen fire engines are at the scene. 

People living nearby and a local school have been told to close their windows and doors because of smoke coming from the site, south of Macclesfield.

Witness Damian Malone told Sky News: “I heard this massive explosion, to find this big fireball rising from the building.

“The ground was actually shaking. It lasted for two, three or four minutes but as the ground seemed to settle there was another explosion on top of that and black smoke billowing out everywhere.

“The sound of the explosion was unreal, scary.”

Local resident Charlotte Maher told Sky News: “We felt the house shake. We thought it was an earthquake. Then there was black smoke and we heard sirens.

“I got a call from my mum who works at Bosley (Primary) School, and they’d had a visit from the police who told them there’d been a major incident and everyone should keep their windows and doors shut because of the smoke.”

More than 40 pupils are at the school, which is about a mile from the explosion site

Student Charli Alston, 18, was walking her dog with a friend when she saw heard a “huge bang”.

“It sounded like a thunder cloud,” she said. “We didn’t know what it was because it was sunny then. We looked over and there were massive plumes of flames. Almost as high as the hill next to it.

“I couldn’t tell you how high the flames were, but I’d say a good 70 metres into the air. Huge. The sound was really really loud and there was loads of billowing black smoke.

“We phoned 999 straight away, because it was pretty terrifying watching it.”

Fire officials say they were called to reports of an explosion at the mill at about 9.10am.

It said fire engines from Congleton, Bollington, Winsford, Crewe and Macclesfield attended, including an aerial appliance from Macclesfield and one from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust said it had sent “at least six ambulances, two rapid response vehicles, two doctors, four managers and the air ambulance” to the scene.

Courtesy of Sky News

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