Two dead after explosion at former steelworks

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A huge emergency services response went to the former steelworks site in South Bank after reported explosions sent plumes of black smoke from the towers.A fleet of ambulances, police and fire service vehicles rushed to the scene just after 2pm on Thursday after the blasts at the ex-coke ovens.Explosion at the former SSI Coke Ovens South Bank Steel

Emergency services declared the fire a major incident (Picture: NCJ Media)

Two men have died after a huge explosion at the site of a former steelworks.

They are believed to have been working in a cherry picker when a massive fireball ripped through the SSI site in Redcar, Teesside.

The explosion happened at 2.15pm yesterday and police confirmed the two fatalities this morning.

Witnesses described loud crashes and booming noises before smoke began to fill the sky.

Another explosion happened around an hour after the initial blast, and flames could be seen shooting out of one of the stacks at a horizontal.

Their families have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.

A huge emergency services response went to the former steelworks site in South Bank after reported explosions sent plumes of black smoke from the towers. A fleet of ambulances, police and fire service vehicles rushed to the scene just after 2pm on Thursday after the blasts at the ex-coke ovens. Explosion at the former SSI Coke Ovens South Bank Steel

A fleet of ambulances, police and fire service vehicles rushed to the scene (Picture: NCJ Media)

Emergency services evacuated the site and declared the fire a major incident yesterday afternoon.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: Yesterday was a terrible and tragic day and all of our thoughts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the two workers.

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