Four people die after blast at English waste water plant

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Four people have died following an explosion at a waste water treatment plant near the southwest England city of Bristol, police said Thursday.

Chief Inspector Mark Runacres of Avon and Somerset Police said that a fifth person was injured during the explosion at Avonmouth but that his condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

He said the incident was not terror-related but would not speculate on the cause of the blast.

“Police inquiries into exactly what happened are at a very early stage and are continuing," Runacres added.

The Avon Fire and Rescue Service said it had been alerted at 11.22am to a large explosion in the industrial area of Avonmouth located near Bristol, which is about 195km west of London.

Witness Jawad Burhan said earlier that there had been a “helicopter looking for missing people” and that police had closed a road leading up to a warehouse he believed was being used as a waste centre.

“I heard the sound, I’m working beside the building in another warehouse," he said. “After 10 minutes, I saw the helicopter coming and the police.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on Twitter, saying “our hearts go out” to the victims of the Avonmouth tragedy and their families. “Deeply saddened to learn that four people have lost their lives in the water works explosion in Avonmouth."

(FRANCE 24 with AP)