South East Wales

Celsa steelworks: Peter O'Brien and Mark Sim died in blast

Peter O'Brien Image copyright St Peter's Bowls Club
Image caption Mr O'Brien was a member of St Peter's Bowls Club in Cardiff

Two workers who died in an explosion at a Cardiff steelworks have been named as Peter O'Brien and Mark Sim.

South Wales Police said father-of-six Mr O'Brien, 51, was from Llanishen, Cardiff, and Mr Sim, 41, from Caldicot, Monmouthshire.

Emergency services are working to recover their bodies after the blast, which happened in the basement of the rod and bar mill at Celsa Steel UK on Wednesday.

Five men were also injured.

Police said of the four people taken to hospital, three have now been discharged. Another man was treated at the plant in Splott.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLuis Sanz, the head of Celsa Steel, made a statement at the Cardiff steel plant

Celsa Steel UK chief executive Luis Sanz said Wednesday was "a tragic day for all in our Celsa family."

Speaking outside the steelworks at Thursday lunchtime, Mr Sanz said Celsa's deepest sympathies were with the families of those who died.

He said the firm was "incredibly grateful to the local community for their support and solidarity at such a difficult time".

"In memory of our colleagues, we will strive to avoid another day like yesterday," he added.

The company is working with the Health and Safety Executive and police who are leading the investigation to determine the cause of the blast.

Flowers have been left at the site, many with tributes to those who died.

Speaking to BBC Wales, Mr O'Brien's brother Kevin said "he was the true embodiment of a rock" who "loved life at the works".

"My brother was a family man," he said.

"Husband to Marie and father of Keiran, Hannah, Sean, Rachel, Martha and Dominic; son of Sheila and Bart; brother of Bernard, Kevin and Catherine. He will be sadly missed."

He said Mr O'Brien joined Celsa - which was then Allied Steel and Wire - as a 16-year-old apprentice and was named Welsh Apprentice of the Year aged 19.

After leaving school with one O-level, he continued his education at night school and eventually achieved a first class honours degree.

After working at various firms including the Royal Mint in Llantrisant and Kingsmill Bakery in Cardiff, he returned to the firm where he began his career as an engineer.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Search dogs are helping the emergency services

St Peter's RFC in Roath posted a tribute on its website to Mr O'Brien, who had represented the club in baseball and rugby and was well known to the 90 players in the various squads.

He was also the founder and current club champion of St Peter's Bowls Club.

The club said he was "a well loved and exceptionally popular member" and a "family man" who would be "sadly missed".

His colleague Mr Sim, who was originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, was married to Sam and had a young son and daughter.

He was a Newcastle United football fan and played for a local darts team in the Caldicot area.

Unions will meet Celsa HR staff and senior management to discuss how best to support staff following the deaths.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSupt Stephen Jones of South Wales Police gave details at the Celsa UK steel plant in Cardiff
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image copyright Wales News Service

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites