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Two people have been confirmed dead after an explosion at the former SSI steel works on Teesside.

It is being reported that the workers were operating a cherry picker close to the blast, which was described as a "massive fireball".

In a statement, Detective Superintendent Tariq Ali at Cleveland Police, said: “We can now confirm that there have sadly been two fatalities as a result of an incident at the former SSI site in South Bank yesterday.

"The families of those two men have been informed and our thoughts remain with them at this very difficult time."

Emergency services are still dealing with a "major incident" after a series of explosions at the former coke ovens at the yesterday afternoon.

Nearly businesses were evacuated and a 250m cordon was established.

The site is part of the South Tees Development Corporation area, which includes the former SSI steelworks.

It is now owned by the South Tees Development Corporation, which is chaired by the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Fire Brigade said there was no dangerto the public.

  • Where was the blast?

  • 24 hours after the first reported explosion, a fire is still burning:

  • Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor said:

Yesterday was a terrible and tragic day and all of our thoughts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the two workers who were involved in the accident on site.

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor
Credit: NCJ Media

Cleveland Police officers and emergency services remain on the scene in South Bank.

The steelworks closed in 2015, with the loss of 2,200 jobs

  • Redcar MP Anna Turley described the news as "absolutely devastating."

All our thoughts and those of the whole community will be with the two workers who have been killed on the site. No one should ever go to work and not come home. It is absolutely horrendous and my heart goes out to them and their families.

Anna Turley MP
  • Eye witness John Coates describes hearing a sound like something falling from a great height.

  • On Monday, a Cleveland Police spokesperson said:

Cleveland Police officers and emergency services colleagues remain on scene at the former SSI site in South Bank, which was evacuated following a report of a fire at around 2.15pm today.

Cleveland Police

Our cameras captured a second explosion on the site on Monday afternoon:

Everyone in the whole community will be devastated by this tragedy. Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with the families and friends. Our gratitude goes to the emergency services.

Councillor Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Counci

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy &Industrial Strategy said:

We are aware of an incident that has occurred at the former steelworks site and are monitoring the situation closely.

Spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy