Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Friday, 10 April 2009 18:16 UK

One dead in pie factory explosion

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Keith Robinson from the fire service describes the scene at the building

One man has died and six others have been injured in an explosion at a pie factory in Huddersfield.

The explosion happened at Andrew Jones Pies on Old Leeds Road, close to the town centre, just after 0500 BST.

Police said seven employees, all male, were working in the building at the time of the explosion.

The dead man, a 38-year-old from Salterhebble, Halifax, died at the scene. A 23-year-old from Crosland Moor, Huddersfield, is critically ill.

Police said he was being treated at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

The collapsed factory building. Picture by Rowan Bridge of BBC Radio 5 Live
The blast caused the roof to collapse. Picture from BBC Radio 5 Live

Five other people suffered minor injuries.

The fire service said the roof had collapsed and specialist teams with cutting gear were at the scene to make the factory safe.

More than 40 firefighters from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were called out to deal with the explosion.

Keith Robinson, group manager for the fire service, said it was too early to say what had caused the blast but said it was not suspicious.

He confirmed the body was still inside the wreckage of the building and would be recovered once the building was made structurally safe.

'Absolutely devastated'

A police spokesman said: "Due to structural damage at the bakery there have been difficulties in extracting the body of the deceased from the building.

"This will be done by specialist officers from the fire service once the property is made safe.

"Inquiries into the cause of the explosion are ongoing and a joint investigation involving the police, fire service and the Health and Safety Executive is currently under way."

Floral tributes left at the scene. Picture by Rowan Bridge of BBC Radio 5 Live
Floral tributes have been left at the scene. Picture from BBC Radio 5 Live

The award-winning Andrew Jones Pies has been established in the town for many years and supplies a number of supermarkets.

Graham Easby from the firm said it was a close knit workforce and everyone's thoughts were with the families of those involved.

He said: "The people that have come with us have started out as apprentices, they've grown up, you've seen them grow up, you've seen them go out for their first pint of beer, you've seen them get married and have children.

"The colleagues that have been here today are absolutely devastated by what's happened."

On its website, the company said: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the pie factory and our shops will remain closed until further notice."



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