Bosley mill explosion: Police name four missing people

People missing after Bosley explosion Image copyright Cheshire Police
Image caption (L to R) Derek Moore, Dorothy Bailey, Jason Shingler and William Barks have not been seen since Friday

Four people who are feared dead after an explosion at a wood treatment works in Cheshire have been named by police.

Dorothy Bailey, 62, William Barks, 51, Jason Shingler, 38, and Derek Moore, 62, have not been seen since the blast at Wood Flour Mills in Bosley, near Macclesfield, on Friday.

Rescuers are continuing to search two specific areas of the collapsed building.

The missing people are believed to have been close to the seat of the blast.

Paul Hancock, chief fire officer for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, described the scene as "one of complete devastation".

"We have a building that has exploded from the inside and subsequently collapsed in on itself," he added.

"There are huge complexities around the challenges for the search and rescue teams."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Rescuers are searching two specific areas of the collapsed building
Image copyright News helicopter still
Image caption The explosion ripped through the wood treatment works on Friday

The team searching the site has experience working in disaster zones including earthquakes in Nepal, Japan and New Zealand.

Mr Hancock said: "We firmly believe we are searching the right areas. Our thoughts continue to be with the family.

"The whole mental psyche of the crews down at the site is they are looking for people still alive."

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Media captionPaul Hancock, Cheshire Fire and Rescue: "We firmly believe we are searching the right areas"

Guy Hindle, assistant chief constable of Cheshire Police, said an investigation into the cause of the explosion would follow.

"We are still in the search phase, we are still looking for signs of life down at the scene," he said.

"At some point in the next days we will hand over the scene from fire to police for a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive to establish the cause of what happened down there, together with fire investigators."

Earlier, prayers were said for the missing factory workers during a service at St Mary's Parish Church in Bosley.

The Reverend Pam Butler said the people of Bosley were "in collective shock".

"There is a sense of unreality. No one is unaffected by what's happened," she said.

"We have in our midst those whose loved ones are still missing. Our hearts, our love, our prayers - anything we can do - goes out to you."

Image copyright AP
Image caption The fire service said its crews "are looking for people still alive"
Image caption The explosion took place at Bosley, between Macclesfield and Congleton in Cheshire

Meanwhile, details have emerged that council enforcement officers were on the site a fortnight ago to follow-up on complaints received about saw dust.

It has also emerged there were two fires at the site in 2010 and 2012.

'Dust problems'

Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East council, said: "We were on site two weeks ago clearing it up and they did well to clear it up. We will produce that evidence as and when necessary.

"The fact is this is the sort of industry that has a lot of problems tied to the dust and what happens around it. We mustn't go down the trail of assuming anything.

"There are on-going complaints, but when you have this nature of business, close to a community, there will be complaints about dust and noise and pollution which we, as a council, have been dealing with."

Mr Jones said the council was now working to re-house six families whose homes were damaged in the blast.

Police said they would be working in the next few days with the company which is yet to comment publicly about the incident.

Macclesfield MP David Rutley said: "I think its important to say the business does need to get involved with the investigation, because there are questions in the community that need to be answered.

"Today is not that day. Today is about the families and in due course those questions, those important questions, will need to be answered."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The rescue team has worked in the aftermath of earthquakes in Japan and Nepal

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