Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 16:55 UK

Firework boss charged over deaths

Smoke and fireworks from the fire at the fireworks factory
Two fire service staff were killed in the explosion in December 2006

A firework depot owner and his son have been charged with manslaughter over the deaths of two firefighters.

Geoffrey Wicker, 49, and Brian Wembridge, 63, died tackling a blaze at Festival Fireworks near Ringmer, East Sussex, on 3 December 2006.

Twelve other people were injured in the explosions and blaze, including nine firefighters and a police officer.

Martin Winter, 50, and Nathan Winter, 23, have been bailed to appear at Lewes Magistrates' Court on 18 June.

The company, now known as Alpha Fireworks Ltd, has been summonsed for breaches of the manufacture and storage of Explosive Regulations 2005.

Mr Wembridge and Mr Wicker were both long-serving members of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and received full brigade honours at their funeral services, which were attended by firefighters from across the UK.

A fire service spokeswoman said: "East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service will continue to do whatever it can to support the police and the Health and Safety Executive in its ongoing work to find out what happened at the incident."

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