Police name factory blast victims

by ESTHER SWALES, Daily Mail online

Police have named four of the seven victims killed in the Glasgow factory blast which has so far claimed seven lives.

The details of the victims were released as search teams continued to sift through the rubble of Stockline Plastics for survivors trapped in the debris.

Police believe two people are still trapped in the rubble and rescue workers are refusing to give up hope of finding people alive more than 24 hours after the four-storey building collapsed.

Police named the victims as: Ann Trench, 34, of Colston, Glasgow; Margaret Brownlie, 49, of Glassford Road, Strathaven; Tracey McErlane, 27, of Westercommon Drive, Possilpark; and Peter Ferguson, 52, of Kilbarchan.

Strathclyde Police said the body of another man has been identified but the family do not want his name to be released at the moment.

Chief executive trapped

Among those reported to be missing was Stockline Plastics' chief executive Stewart McColl, who is believed to have been working on the fourth floor when the explosion happened.

His daughter Sheena, who worked alongside him, is thought to be seriously ill in hospital. Mr McColl's estranged wife Lynda is believed to be at her daughter's bedside.


The Prime Minister has offered his condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured in the blast.

Scotland's First Minister visited the site this afternoon, praising the tireless rescue work of the police, fire and ambulance crews.

Jack McConnell had earlier visited survivors of the disaster at the city's Western Infirmary and families of the victims who are awaiting news of their loved ones at a local community centre.

The companies at the centre of the blast in Grovepark Street in Maryhill spoke of their shock and sadness, and bosses at Stockline Plastics and parent company ICL Plastics expressed their condolences to the families of those involved.

The death toll rose to seven today after the explosion at the factory around 12.30pm yesterday caused the building to collapse, trapping workers under the rubble.

The emergency services confirmed that five people died at the scene of the explosion in the city's west end and two died later in the Western Infirmary.

Telescopic cameras used

Strathclyde Firemaster Brian Sweeney said: "This is phase three of the rescue operation.

"We have dug what we feel are a sufficient number of tunnels and we have removed as much rubble as we feel is sufficient. Parts of the building are very unstable so we are going into those unstable areas just now.

"Those firefighters are drilling boreholes, inspection holes, down which they will be placing telescopic cameras. And they will be remotely viewing access voids where we may have casualties still trapped."

Mr Sweeney said 80 to 100 firefighters were still on site and that the scene had been divided into six search areas.

Searchers heard knocking noises at around 5am and sniffer dogs had also given indications that there may still be people trapped inside.

Fifth body found

But rescuers also removed a fifth body bag from the rubble of the factory early today.

Around 40 people have been confirmed as injured, seven of those were pulled from the building. A total of 21 people were being treated at hospitals across the city, while 19 have been discharged.

Dedicated urban search and rescue specialists are expected to assist in the rescue operation which could continue for several days.

Health and Safety officers have had meetings with police and the procurator fiscal about how an investigation would be carried out.

A specialist team of inspectors has been assembled, and they are awaiting the go-ahead from emergency services to proceed with on-site inspections.

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