Wednesday, January 12, 2011

News: Fatal incident at Sterecycle's Rotherham plant


A Rotherham man has died as a result of the injuries he suffered in an industrial explosion at Sterecycle in Templeborough.

Emergency services were called to at 2.40pm yesterday after a waste incinerator exploded creating a hole in the side of the factory and causing damage to parked cars across the road.

Two of the site operators were seriously injured in the incident and the company initiated its emergency procedures immediately and medical attention was provided as quickly as possible.

42-year-old Michael Whinfrey, from the Wickersley area of Rotherham was airlifted to Leeds General Hospital where he later died. Peter Lindon Davis, 51, from the Hoyland Common area of Barnsley was taken by ambulance to the Northern General Hospital with serious head and body injuries.

The company said in a statement that the incident involved a sudden loss of pressure as a result of the failure of one of the pressure vessels used in the waste treatment process.

Sterecycle is a clean technology company that uses a patented steam processing method called autoclaving to "pressure cook" household and commercial black-bag waste. The Rotherham plant is the world's first commercial scale autoclave waste treatment facility. It has been operational since August 2008 and employs 41 local people.

Tom Shields, Sterecycle CEO, said: "I speak for all of my staff when I say how deeply saddened I am by Michael's death. He was a much valued colleague, an excellent member of staff and a fine man. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

"We clearly regret this incident and have advised HSE. Our immediate priority is for the welfare of our employees. Thereafter we will urgently investigate the causes of the incident and ensure that all necessary actions are taken."

Operations at the plant have been suspended and will remain so until a full investigation into the cause of the incident has been carried out.

Sterecycle website


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