Emergency services allay fears after further disruption in wake of deaths at SSI steelworks

Police have issued reassurances after further activity at the former SSI steelworks, where two men lost their lives while working on the site.

Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 3:28 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 4:24 pm
The scene of a large blast which killed two workers at a former coke works in South Bank, Teesside, on Thursday. Photo by Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire.

Cleveland Police has thanked people living and working close to the plant in South Bank, Teesside, following a further incident there in the early hours of today, Sunday, September 22.

In a statement issued today, the force said it remained an “ongoing incident” and added: “Police, emergency services and other partners remain on the site, monitoring the situation and responding accordingly.

“During the early hours of today further activity – loud noise and release of a plume from a tower - took place and we would reassure the public that this activity was anticipated and planned for.

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“As we have said previously, there is the possibility of further similar events.

“We would like to thank nearby residents and businesses for their co-operation and understanding while the situation remains ongoing.”

Fire crews were called to the site to deal with the blaze on Thursday as it was declared a “major incident,” with police confirming the next morning two men had died in the incident as the cordon around the site was widened.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who has sent his thoughts to the families of those involved, has previously said the Health and Safety Executive would continue to have an ongoing presence on the site.

Earlier this year, a deal was agreed to transfer half the land capable of development on the former steelworks to the South Tees Development Corporation, an enterprise promoting economic development in the Tees Valley.

SSI purchased the site in February 2011 but went into liquidation in October 2015.

The steelworks stopped production after 98 years later that month when it was announced there was no realistic prospect of prospective buyers taking it off the Thai owners.