Son describes the blast that killed his dad at Norwich chemical plant

Briar Chemicals in Norwich
Briar Chemicals in Norwich where contractor Robert Cranston died Credit: ITV News Anglia

The son of a chemical plant worker has described the moment his father was killed in a blast in Norfolk.

Robert Cranston had been carrying out maintenance work at Briar Chemicals in Norwich on July 27 2018.

His son Owen Cranston, who was working at the same plant, told an inquest into the death that his 46-year-old dad had been using a grinder, causing sparks to fly, when there was a blast.

In a statement read by the coroner, he recalled hearing a "very loud bang".

He said his father's orange overalls were burned off and his welding mask ended up on the ground.

Mr Cranston was taken to hospital but died later that day.

Another colleague told the inquest the senior craftsman had always been "sensible and reliable at work".

Kevin Headford, a self-employed pipe fitter, said Mr Cranston had been working to repair a water jacket, adding: "They didn't expect the job to be potentially explosive."

He described hearing a "whooshing" followed by a pause and a "boom", before running to the scaffolding platform to try to help.