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Weekly runs special report after tragic mill explosion

A mill explosion which claimed the lives of at least three people saw a weekly newspaper publish a dramatic front page and seven-page report on the incident.

The cover of this week’s Macclesfield Express, pictured below, carried a full page photograph showing the devastation caused by the blasts at a wood flour mill in Bosley, Cheshire, as well as pictures of four people who have been missing since the disaster.

The Express ran eye-witness reports of the incident, tributes to the missing, a round-up of fundraising efforts plus stories on how the disaster had affected every corner of the community, from friends and family of the injured and missing, to those who have lost their jobs and home.

It also carried a report on how explosion fears had been discussed by the parish council just three days before last Friday’s incident.

Macclesfield Express special

A local minister told the Express she believes the village will never be the same again following the disaster, while Macclesfield MP David Rutley described the incident as his being his “darkest day”.

The blasts were sparked by a fire which then caused the building to collapse.

Police have found three bodies in the recovery operation and say one of the dead is believed to be William Barks, 51, who worked at the mill.

The Express, which was named Weekly Newspaper of the Year at May’s Regional Press Awards, also ran an editorial comment piece in which editor Gareth Tidman described the grief the tragedy had inflicted on the local community, and praised the work of the emergency service and fundraising efforts.

Said Gareth: “There can hardly be anyone in the borough who has not been affected by the tragic events at Bosley. We are a community united in grief.

“The mill was the main employer in the Bosley area so, while our thoughts are obviously currently focused on the missing and the recovery operation, the impact of the tragedy will be long term and far reaching.

“Many questions will have to be answered in the days ahead.

“At the same time we have been buoyed by the reaction of the community, the spirit and resilience that has been shown, as well as the fundraising efforts, the support for emergency services on the ground and the jobs offers made to people who worked at the mill.”