South West Wales

Pembroke Chevron oil refinery explosion victims named

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Media captionServices to be held for Chevron refinery explosion victims

The four people killed in the explosion and fire at the Chevron oil refinery in Pembrokeshire have been named.

They were Julie Jones, 54, a fire guard from Pembroke, and three men from Milford Haven: Dennis Riley, 52, Robert Broome, 48, and Andrew Jenkins, 33.

Ms Jones was a mother of one and grandmother, Mr Riley a father of two and grandfather, Mr Broome a father of seven and Mr Jenkins had young twins.

A fifth person is critical but stable after Thursday's blast at Pembroke.

Churches are opening their doors to allow people to say prayers for the victims, with books of condolence available and priests offering support.

Image caption It could be some time before the cause of the explosion is known

Dyfed-Powys Police said the bodies were removed from the scene on Friday night.

Det Ch Insp Martin Davies, the senior investigating officer, said: "Since the incident occurred our specially trained officers have been supporting the families and next of kin of those who tragically lost their lives".

It is thought the investigation to identify the cause of the blast could take several weeks.

The identity of the injured person has not been released at the request of relatives.

Chevron said the explosion happened during routine maintenance of one of its storage tanks, and the company was flying in experts from the US to assist its local investigators.

The Bishop of St Davids, the Very Reverend Wyn Evans, took the opportunity to lead prayers for those killed and injured while leading a service on Friday marking 50 years of German presence at the nearby Castlemartin artillery ranges.

The Reverend Nigel Thomas, the vicar of Pembroke Dock, said people were in a state of "shock and trauma".

"It's one of those incidents that really brings home the hazardous nature of this industry but also the fact that so many lives and the local economy are dependent on Chevron as the main employer for the area.

"They are like a big family, but these individual family members are really going through hell at the moment - they're in a state of disbelief.

Image caption The Reverend Nigel Thomas said churches were supporting families of the victims

"We're seeking to stand alongside them and help them through it."

John Allen-Mirehouse, Pembrokeshire council's cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, said people were satisfied with Chevron's safety record, with no previous incidents of any sort under their ownership of the refinery.

He also praised the company's contribution to community life, including its provision of free fuel for the Angle and Tenby lifeboats.

"We're very glad to have Chevron as neighbours," he said.

"They play their part in supporting local schools, clubs, events and charities."

"This is a very small community... there's a very good chance that if you don't actually know somebody whose family has lost somebody, you'll know somebody who does."

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