South West Wales

Pembroke Chevron oil refinery blast victim's son speaks

The son of one of four people killed in the Chevron refinery explosion in Pembrokeshire has told how he could also have been a victim of the blast.

Lee Riley had been working side-by-side with his father, Dennis, 52, until weeks before the accident in June.

Investigations are continuing in to the blast at the Milford Haven plant.

Andrew Jenkins, 33, Julie Schmitz, 54, and Robert Broome, 48, also died in the incident. A fifth person was seriously injured.

Maintenance work was being carried out on a 730 cubic metre storage tank which exploded, damaging an adjacent vessel.

Chevron, which has flown in experts from the US, has said the investigation will be a lengthy process.

Meanwhile, police are continuing to work with the Health and Safety Executive and forensic experts at the scene.

Image caption Lee Riley said the community had rallied around the familes affected

The opening of inquests last month heard the four victims were formally identified by their DNA.

Mr Riley has spoken publicly for the first time about the tragedy. He said his father was working overtime on the evening he was killed.

He told BBC Wales: "He loved his job. He enjoyed going to work every day. He thrived on it.

"They wanted the tank cleaned by the next morning. It was just routine, a routine clearance of the tank.

"But he did not need to be on the job, I suppose, he could have been down in the office, but that's the way he was. He liked to go out and make sure everything was okay."

Mr Riley said he continued to think about what could have gone wrong "because I have done the job myself".

He said: "I could have been there. Not a good thought."

The family texted and rang Mr Riley as soon as the alert was declared but there no answer.

'Family man'

Mr Riley said: "I thought he'd be at his muster point so he wouldn't be able to ring us until the all-clear siren goes."

In the early hours of the following morning, Chevron rang to say Dennis Riley was among those missing, he said.

Mr Riley said he would remember his father as a devoted family man, who called round after work every evening to sit with his grandchildren.

He added: "If I could do half as well as he done, I'd be a good man."

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