Four people have died following an explosion at a waste water treatment works near Bristol.

A major incident was declared at Wessex Water’s Bristol water recycling centre in Kings Weston Lane, Avonmouth, after reports of a “large explosion” today (Thursday).

Among those killed were three employees of Wessex Water and one contractor, Chief Inspector Mark Runacres, from Avon and Somerset Police, said.

Speaking at a press conference at the scene, he said: “Emergency services were called at approximately 11.20am to reports of a large explosion involving one of the chemical tanks at the site off Kings Weston Lane.

“The fire service led the rescue operation but sadly, despite the best efforts of all those involved, we can confirm there have been four fatalities. This includes three employees of Wessex Water and one contractor.

“Specially trained officers have this afternoon made contact with each of the families of those individuals and informed them of the sad news.

“This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies go out to them.”