Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Tributes for dead Esso oil refinery worker

Anthony McGowan
Image caption Mr McGowan's family has received messages from people across the UK

The sons of an oil refinery worker who died at an Esso plant in Hampshire say their family has received messages of support from people across the UK.

Anthony McGowan, 57, of Ebbw Vale, south-east Wales, died in hospital following an incident at Esso's Fawley facility, near Southampton.

He suffered chest and pelvic injuries in the incident on Thursday morning.

Chris McGowan, also speaking on behalf of his brother Scott, described their father as "fantastic".

'Fantastic father'

He said: "My brother and I are deeply saddened at the tragic and untimely death of our dad Tony McGowan.

"He was a truly fantastic father and grandfather and will be greatly missed by all that had the pleasure of knowing him.

"We have been overwhelmed with the support and messages of condolence we have received from people all over the UK.

"He had been a rigger for over 20 years and had worked all over the world.

"Health and safety was of paramount importance to him and we are determined to establish the full circumstances surrounding his death."

The refinery, on the banks of Southampton Water, is the largest in the UK and processes about 330,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

A spokesman for Exxonmobil, Esso's parent company, said safety at the site was the "key priority" and non-essential work in the area of the incident continued to be suspended. An investigation into the incident is under way.

He added: "Everyone at Fawley is deeply saddened by the death and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

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