Hywel in Parliament - Debates

Statement in the House of Commons re Steel Explosion in Port Talbot

8th November 2001

Dr. Hywel Francis (Aberavon): The House will know of the terrible explosion that occurred last Thursday in the No. 5 blast furnace in Port Talbot in my constituency. I am sure that the Prime Minister will wish to join me and the whole House in sending our deepest condolences to the families of the three men who died and to the families of the 13 men who were injured and remain in Morriston hospital. May I also invite the Prime Minister to join me in thanking the emergency services for the tremendous work that they did, and particularly the burns unit in Morriston hospital for the continuing work that it is doing for the injured? Finally, may I also ask him to join me in urging the press and all parties concerned to respect the privacy of the families and the work force in their hour of need and to allow the various inquiries to continue their vital work?

The Prime Minister: First, I know that my hon. Friend has spoken for the whole House in extending the sympathies of both sides of the House to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy. I certainly join him in congratulating the emergency services on the work that they have done. I know that the Health and Safety Executive is investigating the incident, and it is too early to speculate on the exact causes. I am sure that that investigation should be allowed to continue, and I hope very much that those parts of the media that are reporting on the issue will have heard my hon. Friend's comments.

Mr. Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford and Woodford Green): May I associate the Opposition with the Prime Minister's condolences expressed to the constituents of the hon. Member for Aberavon (Dr. Francis) who suffered in that tragic accident?

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