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Investigations continue into fireworks factory fire

Investigations are continuing into the cause of a fatal fire at a fireworks factory in Stafford.

The bodies of two men were found in the wreckage of the warehouse by emergency service today. A third man remains in a critical condition in hospital following the blaze on Thursday.

A 53-year-old man arrested in connection with the fire has been released with no further action and is now being treated as a witness.

ITV News' Midlands reporter Ben Chapman reports:


Abuse inquiry searching for third chair after Woolf quits

Questions have been raised about the checks undertaken by the Home Office and Home Secretary Theresa May after a second person quit as chair of the inquiry into historical child sexual abuse in Westminster.

Fiona Woolf's resignation followed growing calls from abuse victims' representatives for her to go over her links to Lord Brittan, a key figure to be questioned in the inquiry.

Mrs May has confirmed she will meet with survivors' groups and consult with relevant MPs before appointing Mrs Woolf's successor, as ITV News Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks reports.

(Please note: The report contains flashing images).

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashes

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo has crashed with the status of the two pilots currently unknown, NBC News reports.

The vehicle suffered a "serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle" during the powered test flight at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the spaceflight company said.

"Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time," a statement issued to NBC News said.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo suffers 'in-flight anomaly'

Virgin Galactic has said its SpaceShipTwo has experienced an "in-flight anomaly" during a powered test flight in the Mojave desert, California.

Earlier today Virgin Galactic tweeted:


Miliband: Theresa May is guilty of 'total carelessness'

Labour leader Ed Miliband has accused Home Secretary Theresa May of "total carelessness" after Fiona Woolf became the second person to resign as chair of the Westminster child sexual abuse inquiry.

Theresa May has some explaining to do. To lose one chair is a misfortune but to lose two is total carelessness on her part.

It's not like this could not have been expected. If you had asked some basic questions and done some basic background checks, I think anybody really understanding the victims in this would have said 'Well, hang on a minute, isn't this going to be problematic?

– Ed Miliband, speaking to the BBC
Ed Miliband said Fiona Woolf had 'done the right thing' as she no longer commanded the confidence of victims. Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

Mr Miliband called on the Home Office and Home Secretary to do the "proper consultation with the victims" before appointing a third head of the inquiry to ensure their support.

Charity: Hunt for Woolf successor must not halt inquiry

Children's charity The Children's Society has called on the inquiry into Westminster child sexual abuse to get underway while Fiona Woolf's successor as chair is found.

This critical inquiry has already been delayed twice. Now, it is vital that, as steps are taken to find a new chair, its work continues. The victims and survivors of child sexual abuse have already waited too long to get the justice they deserve.

– Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society

Home Secretary Theresa May has said she will meet survivors' groups and consult with relevant MPs before appointing Mrs Woolf's successor.

Woolf quitting 'vindicates' Mail on Sunday's reporting

The Mail on Sunday has said Fiona Woolf's decision to quit as head of the Westminster child sexual abuse inquiry "vindicates" the newspaper's pursuit of details about her links with Lord Brittan.

Two months ago, shortly after Mrs Woolf's appointment by Theresa May, we were first to produce evidence of Mrs Woolf's close ties to Leon Brittan. Over subsequent weeks, we established a pattern of connections between them.

Throughout this period, the Home Office refused to acknowledge these concerns or explain why it had failed to carry out due diligence.

At no stage did we call into question Mrs Woolf's competence or integrity, but we believe we were right to question whether she would command the trust of the victims of child abuse.

– Mail on Sunday editor Geordie Greig

Man in critical condition after fireworks factory blaze

A man remains in a critical condition in hospital following a fireworks factory blaze which claimed the lives of two men.

The man suffered serious burns in the blaze at SP Fireworks in Stafford. A second man who was taken to hospital is now recovering at home, Staffordshire Police said.

It comes as the force confirmed the bodies of two men were discovered in the wreckage of the blaze today.

Supt Ian Coxhead, from Staffordshire Police, said: “This is a tragic development in a rare and challenging incident, our sympathies go out to the families of those who have sadly lost their lives."

Officers remain at the scene of the blaze, which will remain cordoned off while work to establish the cause of the fire continues, a force spokesman said.

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