Explosion factory still shut

HUNDREDS of tonnes of Rotherham's household rubbish - which was being processed at a plant where a worker was killed in an explosion this week - could be taken to Sheffield's Bernard Road incinerator instead.

Rotherham Council has revealed it is in "negotiations" with Veolia, which runs the Sheffield plant, to take the 500 tonnes it normally sends each week to Sterecycle on Sheffield Road, Templeborough. Sterecycle processes around 32 per cent of the council's household rubbish, turning it into a fibre which can be used as a fuel, and sterilising metal and glass for recycling.

But the plant is currently closed following a blast on Tuesday which killed an operator and seriously injured another.

Married dad-of-three Michael Whinfrey, aged 42, from Wickersley, was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary following the blast but died from the extent of his injuries.

His best friend Peter Lyndon Davis, 51, from Hoyland Common, Barnsley, suffered a broken leg and ribs, burns to his forehead and hands, and cuts to his face.

The ferocity of the blast was captured on CCTV cameras at a neighbouring firm.

The explosion ripped a gaping hole in the side of the plant and sent debris shooting across the road outside, covering vehicles on a car park on the opposite side of the road.

A Rotherham Council spokeswoman said: "As part of our waste disposal contract we use various partner organisations and following the accident we are now negotiating with Veolia Environmental Services to take extra on a temporary basis."

A Sterecyle spokeswoman said: "The plant is still closed. Police and Health and Safety Executive investigations are underway and Sterecycle will be conducting an investigation of its own."

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