A second body has been found in the search for missing workers feared killed when a blast ripped through a wood flour mill.
The victim’s remains were recovered from the wreckage in the village of Bosley, Cheshire, where a 1,000C inferno reduced the four-storey building to rubble.
Fire and rescue teams have been working non-stop to find William Barks, 51, Dorothy Bailey, 62, Jason Shingler, 38, and Derek Moore, 62, since Friday’s explosions and fire.
Another body had already been found but has not yet been formally identified.
A Cheshire Police spokesman said: “Sadly we can confirm that a second body has been found in the Bosley mill search.
“Our thoughts are with all those waiting for news of loved ones.”
Paul Hancock, Cheshire’s chief fire officer, suggested yesterday that there was little hope of finding any survivors when he said officers were heading into a search and recovery phase rather than search and rescue.
He described the scene as one of “total devastation”, with the focus on an area about five metres by five metres which was being excavated.
Guy Hindle, assistant chief constable of Cheshire Police, warned that establishing the cause of the blast would not be a quick task.
Three Health and Safety Executive (HSE) officers are working at police headquarters with the Cheshire Police major investigation team, he said.
The family of one of the missing workers said they were “very, very angry” at the alleged lack of sympathy from mill owners Wood Treatment Ltd, saying the firm had not been in touch with them after the blast.
Kelvin Barks, brother of William Barks, told ITV News: “My brother worked at that mill for 12 years. He’s been missing for over three days now. In all that time nobody at the company has contacted us at all. No offer of support or sympathy or help.”
The HSE served Wood Treatment Ltd with improvement notices two years ago in which it warned of a risk of an explosion or fire, although the company complied with the notice.
Enforcement officers from Cheshire East Council were on the site two weeks ago to make sure the firm cleared the area after complaints of sawdust. The site was also struck by two fires, in 2010 and 2012.
In a statement, the mill’s bosses said they were “shocked and saddened” by the incident and offered its sympathies to those affected.
They said: “The mill has been part of the community in Bosley since 1927 and we take the safety of our employees extremely seriously.
“We are committed to establishing the cause of this incident and we will continue to co-operate fully with the emergency services and Health and Safety Executive.”