Avonmouth explosion victims pictured for first time after chemical tank tragedy

All four victims of a devastating fatal explosion in Avonmouth have now been pictured following the tragedy.

A book of condolence has been opened for tributes to be paid to three men and teenager involved in the disaster at Wessex Water’s treatment works last week.

And more than £100,000 has been raised by the firm in memory of the victims, named as Brian Vickery, Luke Wheaton, Ray White and Mike James.

Wheaton, who was only 16, was the youngest victim in the explosion that ripped through a chemical tank last Thursday.

He was previously pictured following the tragedy, but today the remaining three have.

Grieving dad Matt Wheaton previously paid tribute to his son, who was working at Wessex Water as an apprentice.

"You gave me and mum 16 great years it should have been many many more," he said.

Michael James, 64, Brian Vickery, 63, Raymond White, 57, also lost their lives on December 3 following the explosion in a silo that holds treated biosolids.

It is understood the blast may have been caused by a catastrophic build-up of pressure in an anaerobic digester – a system used to process waste materials which produces methane gas.

Inquests will be held in the coming days, Bristol Live reported.

The grieving families of the victims have now paid tribute as well-wishers clubbed together to raise money in their memory.

  • Avonmouth explosion victims named by police – including 16-year-old killed in blast

Of Mr Vickery, his family said: "There are not enough words to describe the impact Brian had on not only his family and closest friends but to so many others.

"He brightened everyone’s lives with his cheeky and wicked sense of humour.

"Nothing meant more to him than being around the ones he loved and it’s difficult to think of him without it bringing a smile to your face.

"We feel blessed to have had him in our lives and we will cherish these memories forever.

  • Avonmouth explosion: Worker killed in chemical tank blast 'chucked 500 feet in the air'

Ray White, 57, was often referred to as ‘the machine’ by his colleagues because of his determination to get things done.

Mr White's family said in tribute: "The whole family are struggling to come to terms with Ray’s death.

"He was a wonderful son, brother and father to his two sons. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him."

Contractor Mike James, 64, also died in the blast. Mr James was the owner of Beaufort Maintenance.

His family said: "Mike was a brother, husband, father and Grampy. He will be missed."

Donations have flooded in on the memorial page set up following the shocking disaster.

The memorial fund has already raised £100,000, with the firm's CEO Colin Skellett donating £1,000.

He wrote: "Such a tragedy – devastating and heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and colleagues."

A fifth person who was injured is now at home.

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