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EDITIONS
Friday, 8 November, 2002, 07:00 GMT
Blast anniversary is remembered
Corus steel plant in Port Talbot ablaze after explosion
The explosion caused a massive fire at the plant
A south Wales community is coming together to mark the first anniversary of an explosion in which three men died and a dozen more suffered serious injuries.

Steelworkers, their families and the community of Port Talbot are being invited to observe a minute's silence at the exact time of the fatal blast.


Opening the church will allow everyone to remember in their own way, with no obligation

Father Colin Amos

People are expected to pause in silence at 1714 GMT, both in the Corus plant and at other venues across the town.

The blast was the worst accident in the steel industry for 27 years.

Three steelworkers Stephen Galsworthy, who was 25, Andrew Hutin, 20, and Len Radford, 53, were killed.

A dozen men were also injured in the incident which is still under investigation.

Flags will be flown at half mast at the civic centre and the silence will also be observed at all Corus sites in south Wales and at the Tesco supermarket in Port Talbot.

Services will be held at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, where the injured were treated, and at St Theodore's Church in Port Talbot, where funeral services were held for those who died.

Both will start at 1700 GMT.

Andrew Hutin:
Andrew Hutin: Youngest victim of the blast

Parish priest Father Colin Amos said: "There has been much anguish over what should be done to mark this emotional and sad occasion.

"Opening the church will allow everyone to remember in their own way, with no obligation."

Corus has already admitted civil liability for the explosion and now faces an estimated 1m compensation payout.

Interim payments to relatives of the victims have already been made.

There were plans to create a memorial garden to remember those who were killed but this has been shelved.

Rebuilt

Families of those who died said they did not want to visit it and they have said they will not visit the plant until after the investigation into the explosion is completed.

An investigation into the blast by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is not due to be completed until early next year.

Preliminary findings have shown the blast may have been caused by water in the works' number five furnace.

A decision on any prosecutions will be taken after the completion of the inquiry.

The damaged furnace at Port Talbot is being rebuilt at a cost of 75m and production is expected to begin again early next year.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' Gilbert John
"Today in Port Talbot it's going to be a day of remembrance."
Blast victim Len Radford's brother, Ivor
"We had to decide there and then, rather than prolong the agony and suffering, to switch off the life-support."
Steelworks Blast

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