NEWS
11/08/2018 08:15 BST | Updated 11/08/2018 12:59 BST

Salisbury Defence Factory Explosion Leaves One Person Dead

Police said there is no further risk to the public.

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One person is dead after an explosion at the Chemring Countermeasures facility on Friday night

An explosion at a defence firm’s factory near Salisbury has killed one person and left another in a critical condition.

Fire broke out at the Chemring Countermeasures facility on Friday evening after a blast in a flare manufacturing building on High Post Road, Netton.

The blaze was later extinguished by a team of six fire crews from the surrounding areas. 

Wiltshire Police said it was investigating the explosion with health and safety officers and reassured the public that they faced no further risk.

The firm said it had also launched a “full and immediate” investigation.

Wiltshire Police said on Saturday that the family of the deceased man had been informed and were now being supported by specialist trained family liaison officers.

The 29-year-old from Southampton has not been formally identified, police said, adding that: “Our thoughts remain with the man’s family, friends and colleagues at this extremely sad time.”

A second man, aged 26, from Pewsey, was taken to Salisbury District Hospital in a serious condition and today remained serious but stable, police said.

Detective Inspector Simon Pope said: “We are working closely with the Health and Safety Executive on this investigation to determine the cause of the explosion and our enquiries will be continuing at the site today. A cordon remains in place at the site while investigators carry out their enquiries.

“We would like to reassure the public that this incident was contained as soon as possible and there is no risk to those living in the local area.

“Our thoughts remain with those involved in this incident, as well as their family, friends and colleagues at this time.”

With around 2,600 employees worldwide, Chemring Countermeasures produces flares, chaff and decoys to protect military and civilian air and sea platforms, the company’s website says.

It has also designed countermeasure systems for the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet.

The firm’s business director, Andy Hogben, said in a statement: “Chemring Group PLC confirms that at approximately 5pm on Friday August 10 an incident occurred in a flare manufacturing building at the Chemring Countermeasures factory near Salisbury.

“There has been one fatality and one employee is currently receiving treatment in hospital.

“The site was immediately evacuated and the incident brought under control. The emergency services are in attendance.

“Chemring has launched an investigation into the cause of the incident. The thoughts and support of Chemring Group are with the families at this time.”