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July 13, 2015

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Two dead in Norwich explosion

Ashley Cashfield @ashleycashfield

Two people have died in a suspected explosion at a company on an industrial estate in Norwich.

The men – one in his 50s and one in his 20s – are reported to have died shortly after 09.00 BST.

Both men are believed to have worked at the premises – a company called Harford Attachments, which makes buckets for the front of diggers.

“Officers can confirm that two people have sadly died at the scene,” a spokeswoman said. “Initial reports from the scene suggested an explosion had taken place.”

There were about 50 people on site at Harford Attachments when an explosion is thought to have happened.

Speaking to members of the press at 13:00, Supt Dave Marshall said it had yet to be confirmed whether an explosion had taken place, nor could he say what the men were working on at the time.

 

Staff were evacuated to a nearby bathrooms company.

Three people were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation at the scene, according to the East of England Ambulance Service.

Fire crews and the air ambulance were also called to the scene.

Ashley Cashfield, who works at a nearby building, saw “very thick, black plumes of smoke rising quite slowly” from Harford Attachments, before the emergency services arrived.

“It didn’t look very nice at all,” he said. “There was lots of panic in people’s eyes.”

Norfolk Fire Service earlier told BBC Radio Norfolk there had been an explosion at the site. However, reporter Bob Carter visited the industrial unit and spoke to workers who said they had not heard any loud bangs.

Scott Norman, from the fire service, said work was being carried out to make sure the scene was safe, before the case was passed to the Health and Safety Executive and police.

He said it was “looking most likely” that the explosion happened in the “paint-spraying area” of the unit.

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