Factory explosion kills worker

An explosion in a butcher’s pie factory has left one man dead and injured six others. David Cole, 37, from Halifax, died when the blast at the Andrew Jones Pies factory in Huddersfield brought down part of the roof and started a fire.

The award-winning company, part of A R Jones Butchers, supplies pies to butchers and farm shops throughout the UK.

The explosion, which took place on Good Friday, happened just after the 5am shift had got to work, said sales manager Graham Easby. David was killed instantly and 23-year-old Marcus Cartwright suffered serious injuries. A further five staff were treated for cuts and shock. Graham said Marcus was undergoing surgery on his spine, but was making “steady progress”.

The business was back up and running with limited capacity at its two shops in Marsh and Brighouse and brand new ovens were being installed at a new factory in Lockwood, Huddersfield. “We’re hoping to be back up and running with up to 75% of our capacity in the next two weeks,” said Graham. He added that while staff were obviously upset at the tragedy, they remained in reasonable spirits.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown, with health & safety officers waiting for the site to be made safe before carrying out investigations.

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