John F. Hunt “devastated” over double fatality.
Two men have died after being injured in a fire on a former steelworks site in Redcar in the North East of England. The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and all work on the site has been suspended.
The victims are understood to have been working in a cherry picker when they were engulfed in flames following an explosion. The names of the two men have not yet been disclosed. It is not yet known if the two men were directly employed by John F. Hunt or if they were sub-contractors.
The John F Hunt team is helping demolish old coke ovens at the former SSI site following its closure in 2015. According to local newspaper reports, the John F. Hunt contract was valued at £100,000 and involved the removal of the former coke ovens and ammonia washers when tragedy struck.
Asked for a comment by Teesside Live, a spokesman for the company said: “It’s all too raw, we are just cooperating with the agencies, emergency services and investigating what happened. We are as devastated as anyone. Our sympathies are with the families.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We will examine every single detail of the work that was being conducted. We will make sure we do everything to understand exactly what happened. It is impossible to imagine the pain and distress which this news will have brought the loved ones of those involved.”
The South Bank coke ovens were part of the SSI complex, which had offices and a blast furnace in nearby Redcar. The steelworks announced its closure in 2015 when its Thai-based owners went into liquidation and 2,200 workers lost their jobs.