Manchester

Bosley mill blast: Will Barks and Dorothy Bailey inquests opened

Will Barks and Dorothy Bailey Image copyright Cheshire Constabulary
Image caption The families of Will Barks and Dorothy Bailey will now be able to hold funerals after inquests were opened and adjourned

Inquests have opened into the deaths of two people killed in an explosion and fire at a wood flour mill in Cheshire.

William Barks, 51, and Dorothy Bailey, 62, were among four people who died in the blast at the Wood Treatment Ltd plant in Bosley on 17 July.

Inquests into both their deaths were opened and adjourned at Warrington Coroner's Court, meaning their families can now hold funerals.

An investigation is continuing into the cause of the blast.

Coroner for Cheshire Nicholas Rheinberg said post-mortem tests confirmed Mr Barks, from Leek, Staffordshire, and Mrs Bailey, from Bosley, both died from the effects of explosion and fire at the site.

Deirdre Healey, a lawyer representing the victims' families, said: "The opening of these inquests is just the start of what will be an incredibly difficult time for the families as they seek answers as to what caused the tragedy."

In August, an inquest into the death of Derek Moore, 62, from Stoke-on-Trent, was told of the "scene of devastation" that greeted rescue workers.

Mill worker Jason Shingler, 38, from North Rode, Cheshire is still recorded as missing.

The four-storey building near Macclesfield was completely destroyed in the blast, which was described by rescue teams as the "worst incident of its kind" in a decade.

The plant was used for processing wood into a fine powder used to make laminate flooring.

Image caption The explosion took place at Bosley, between Macclesfield and Congleton in Cheshire

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