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  1. ITV Report

Survivor of Corus steelwork blast in Port Talbot said he's lucky to be alive

Survivor said he owes his life to burns unit at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

A survivor of Port Talbot steel plant explosion said he "wouldn't be alive today" if the burns service in Wales had still been in Chepstow.

Lee Jones survived the Port Talbot steelwork blast.

This week marks 25 years since the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery opened in Swansea.

Lee Jones said he owes his life to the staff and surgeons at the centre based in Morriston Hospital.

In 2001, he was left fighting for his life after the explosion of the number five blast furnace.

Three men died in the Corus steel plant explosion in 2001.
  • 200 tonnes of steel slag and hot gasses were blasted out.
  • An explosion which was caused by leaking water inside the furnace.
  • Three men died in the explosion and 12 men were left injured.
12 men were left with burn injuries after the explosion in 2001.

Lee Jones worked at the front of the blast furnace on the day of the explosion.

In the steel company I was a blast furnace man so the front end of the blast furnace, I was tapping the furnace fryer to sypher the iron off.

– Lee Jones, Survivor

Mr Jones said he relives the explosion in his mind.

I remember pretty much everything I remember being picked up and thrown back through the air quite a distance and landed on my back I remember that was really painful.

– Lee Jones, Survivor

He was treated for burns all over his body and face.

Lee Jones encountered burns across his body.

Half my ear was burnt completely off and I had two fractures in my spine.

– Lee Jones, Survivor

Despite extensive burns, he said the worst thing was that he had "lost three of his friends."

Very terrifying you see your children and your wife it really is a thing it does flash before your eyes

– Lee Jones, Survivor
After the explosion he made multiple trips to the burns unit.

A large part of his life after the explosion was spent going back and forth to the hospital for treatment.

During his recovery he said he "built a rapport" with many of the staff at the burns unit in Swansea.

But he said it was nice to see the day when he finally could say "ok I am done, I don't have to come back again".

"That was very nice its a happy part, but it was sad because those guys saved my life without question."

– Lee Jones, Survivor