Port Talbot Tata steelworks explosion – what happened and how many people were injured?

A HUGE explosion rocked the Tata Steel site at Port Talbot, South Wales in the early hours of April 26.

Here is what we know so far about the blast that hit the UK’s biggest steelworks.

What happened?

Locals reported their houses shook with the force of a blast at the Tata Steel site in Port Talbot in the early hours of Friday, April 26, 2019.

One photo taken shows what appears to be a mushroom cloud rising from the scene of the blast.

Locals said they saw debris falling from the sky after the explosions.

Emergency services including paramedics and firefighters rushed to the complex after 999 calls began to stream in at around 3.35am.

One local resident tweeted: "There was just a big explosion from port Talbot steelworks that just shook the house, hoping no one was hurt."

Tata Steel said its personnel were working with emergency services at the scene.

The fire began when there was a spillage of liquid iron while it was travelling to the steel plant, the company said.

"All fires have now been extinguished. A full investigation has begun."

The site has since been reopened.

How many people were injured?

South Wales Police said two people had suffered minor injuries in the incident and urged locals to avoid the area.

A spokeswoman said: "South Wales Police is currently in attendance with emergency service colleagues from fire and rescue and the ambulance service at an incident at Tata Steelworks, Port Talbot.

"We received numerous calls at around 3.35am reporting an explosion. At this time we believe there are just two casualties with minor injuries.

"This incident is ongoing at the moment and emergency services are at the scene investigating.
"We are asking people to avoid this area at this time. We will update further as more information is available."

Tata confirmed two of  its employees were slightly injured.

More than 4,000 people are employed at the steelworks – which sits at the heart of the local economy.

Have there been other incidents at the works?

A furnace blast at the plant in 2001 killed three workers and left 12 others seriously injured.

Tata Steel, who took over the plant from Corus Steel UK in 2007, were fined £500,000 in 2012 over the 2006 death of a worker who suffered fatal burns after stumbling into molten metal.

Where is Port Talbot?

Port Talbot is best known for its steelworks and is a coastal town in the county borough of Neath Port Talbot, South Wales.

It is located along the eastern rim of Swansea Bay and is just seven miles from the city itself.

The nearest beach is Afan Port Talbot.

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