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Tributes paid to Scot who died in explosion at steelworks

Tribute have been paid to 'much loved' John Mackay who died in the explosion.

Tributes have been paid to a “much loved” Scotsman who died after an explosion at a former steelworks in England.

John Mackay, from Edinburgh, was working at height on a cherry picker at the ex-SSI site in Redcar, Teeside, when the explosion took place on September 19.

The 49-year-old grandfather died as a result of the blast as did fellow worker Tommy Williams, 65, from Warwickshire, who was also on a cherry picker.

Firefighters had earlier attended the scene after a blaze broke out on the premises, part of the South Tees Development Corporation area, at around 2.15pm.

Mr Mackay’s family said: “John was much loved by his wife, parents, sisters, children, step children and grandchildren and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

“We are immensely grateful for the support we have received in the past week and take comfort in hearing how popular a man John was.”

At the time, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It is impossible to imagine the pain and distress which this news will have brought the loved ones of those involved. “All of the staff who work at the South Tees Development Corporation site are deeply shocked and sorry for this loss.”

Mr Williams’s wife, Bobbie, also paid tribute.

She said: “Tommy was a dearly loved husband, father and grandfather who will be desperately missed.”

Cleveland Police Superintendent Tariq Ali said: “Both Tommy and John’s family and friends are dealing with the devastation of losing them and I would ask that people respect their privacy at this extremely difficult time.

“They are being supported by specialist family liaison officers.”

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