Avonmouth explosion: Families pay tribute to four killed in blast

Avonmouth explosion: Families pay tribute to four killed in blast

The families of three men and a teenage boy who died in last week’s explosion near Bristol have paid tribute to them.

Luke Wheaton, 16, Ray White, 57, Brian Vickery, 63, and Mike James, 64, died in the incident at the Wessex Water site on 3 December.

Luke’s family described him as “the most gorgeous, loving, happy, talented, perfect son”.

Avon and Somerset Police said a cordon at the site was removed on Tuesday evening, but investigations continued.

In a statement, Luke’s family said: “Luke knows how much he is loved and will be dearly missed by everyone.

“We just wish we could bring him back.”

Mr James’ family said he was a brother, husband, father and grandfather who would be missed while Mr White’s family described him as a “wonderful son, brother and father to his two sons”.

Mr Vickery’s family said he “brightened everyone’s lives with his cheeky and wicked sense of humour”.

Luke, of Bradley Stoke, Mr White, of Portishead, Mr Vickery, of Clevedon and Mr James, of Bath, were killed by the explosion in a biofuels storage silo.

More than £143,000 has been donated to a crowdfunding page set up by Wessex Water to support the families of the four workers.

A separate fundraiser started by Stoke Lane Football Club, where Luke played for the under-18s, has raised more than £15,000 towards funeral costs.

It is understood Mr James was a contractor working at the site, while Mr Vickery and Mr White were employees of Wessex Water, which owns the plant, and Luke was an apprentice at the firm.

Weston College, which Luke attended as part of his course, said it was “shocked and saddened” to hear of his death.

It said in a statement: “We have extended our deepest condolences to Luke’s family at this incredibly sad time and are providing support to students and staff here at the college.

“We also offer our heartfelt condolences to the other families who have lost their loved ones.”

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