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One man killed and one injured in explosion at a recycling plant

UK -- One man has died and another has been seriously injured in an explosion at a recycling plant.

The two men are thought to have become trapped after a pressure vessel in a waste incinerator blew up at Sterecycle in Rotherham.

A 42-year-old local man who was airlifted to Leeds General Hospital died later from his injuries, police said.

A 50-year-old Barnsley man was taken to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital with serious, 'potentially life-changing', head and body injuries. Tonight he is said to be in a stable condition.

A police spokesman said: 'Emergency services were called to Sterecycle - a business close to Magna Science Adventure Centre - at 2.40pm today after a waste incinerator exploded creating a hole in the side of the factory and causing damage to parked cars across the road.'

The site on Sheffield Road is just off the M1 and officers closed the route from its junction with Bessemer Way to the motorway for about four hours.

Sterecycle sterilises household waste before recycling and the plant is based on the site of a former British Steelworks.

The spokesman added: 'Investigators from South Yorkshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive are currently at the scene with inquiries ongoing into the cause of the explosion.'

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said four crews were sent and at least one of the injured men was brought out by firefighters. He said the crews had been stood down.

In 2009 the site announced plans to invest £10million in the plant to increase its capacity to processing 200,000 tonnes of waste a year - the amount produced by a town of around 400,000 people.

Unsorted household and commercial waste is sterilised by being sealed into giant ovens, called autoclaves.

Pressure inside the autoclaves is increased and steam is pumped in while the ovens are rotated.
Organic waste is broken down into a fibre which has a number of uses including generating renewable energy, land restoration and even for making cardboard boxes.

Sterilised non-organic waste is easily separated from the fibre and can then be sent for recycling and the volume of the waste is reduced by anything up to 70 per cent.

Video caught on CCTV: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-12179815




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