Police have declared a major incident after four people died in a large explosion at a water recycling centre in Bristol.
The explosion is believed to have involved chemical tanks at Wessex Water’s Bristol water recycling centre in Avonmouth.
The home secretary, Priti Patel, tweeted:
Ch Insp Mark Runacres, of Avon and Somerset police, confirmed four people had died.
The fire, police and ambulance services were called at approximately 11.20am to a site off Kings Weston Lane.
Runacres said: “Officers remain at the scene and are likely to be for some time as we work together with other agencies in dealing with this major incident.
“A cordon has been set up and we’d advise members of the public to avoid the area at this time where possible to allow the emergency services to carry out their work. Police inquiries into exactly what happened are at a very early stage and are continuing.”
Avon fire and rescue service’s area manager, Matt Peskett, said: “We were called at 11.22am to reports of a large explosion. Crews from Avonmouth, Southmead, Yate, Patchway, Hicks Gate, Kingswood, Weston-super-Mare and Temple were mobilised and attended the incident.
“We were joined at the scene by our police and ambulance colleagues and have now handed over the incident to the police and continue to support our multi-agency partners.”
A spokesman for South Western ambulance service said: “We sent multiple resources to the scene, including land, air and other specialist paramedic teams.”
People who work near the site reported hearing a loud explosion. One witness said they saw about 10 ambulances heading to the site, while another said nearby buildings shook.