03 Dec 2020– Four people are reportedly dead and one injured in an explosion that occurred at a wastewater treatment plant at Avonmouth near Bristol in the UK. The plant is operated by Wessex Water and is used for waste water treatment and recycling.
The Bristol explosion incident has been classified as a major accident and will be investigated in depth by the authorities.
The blast occurred in one of the chemical tanks in the plant. The tank is used to store treated biosolids.These are treated in these vessels before being released into the soil as conditioners.
Three of the fatally injured persons were employees of Wessex Water and one was a contractor, Chief Inspector Mark Runacres of Avon and Somerset Police said in a press conference held later. The police have cordoned off the site to visitors.
The authorities believe that the Avonmouth explosion is not a terrorist incident and it is an industrial accident.
This incident shows us once again that explosions and fatal accidents can occur at any sites and facilities that use chemicals. It is therefore imperative that process safety practices should be followed in these places. It is not only places that are classified as COMAH can have accidents, often smaller places that use chemicals without an adequate understanding of the risks can also have these kind of incidents.
The BBC has done extensive reporting on the incident and some of their tweets are embedded below. It also includes an eyewitness account from the area.
— BBC West Live (@BBCBristol) December 3, 2020