Pictured: Missing worker presumed dead after ‘apocalyptic’ chemical blast at factory

·Freelance Writer
·3 min read

Watch: Large plume of smoke rises over industrial estate in Warwickshire

Tributes have poured in for a missing worker now presumed dead following a massive chemical blast at a factory in Leamington Spa last month.

David Boswell, 52, has not been seen since the huge inferno broke out at Leeson Polyurethanes on 27 August, with investigators unable to access the scene due to safety reasons.

Hopes of finding Mr Boswell, affectionally known as Bozzy to friends and family, have faded.

Warwickshire Police have now said it is presumed that Mr Boswell lost his life in the fire, which was described by local residents as "apocalyptic" and like a "disaster movie".

David Boswell has not been seen since the huge inferno broke out at Leeson Polyurethanes in Leamington Spa. (SWNS)
David Boswell has not been seen since the huge inferno broke out at Leeson Polyurethanes in Leamington Spa. (SWNS)

There were also reports of several explosions and people vomiting in the street after being choked by the toxic fumes coming from the industrial estate blaze.

The inferno – which could be seen from space – took firefighters more than 24 hours to bring under control and the cause has not been established.

Family, friends and colleagues of Mr Boswell have paid tribute to him, describing him as kind, helpful and an inspiration to others who always put a smile on the face of everyone he met.

His parents Christine and John Boswell said: “We have lost a dearly loved son who was kind, helpful and will be sorely missed.”

Carol Fureed, Mr Boswell’s partner of 26 years, added: ”Dave used to brighten anyone that was feeling down with his jokes. He always knew how to have a good laugh.

"He had a heart of gold and lived for his family, friends and his passion for fishing.

"Hope you catch the big one in heaven Dave, until we meet again, love you forever.”

Mr Boswell’s close friend Ryan Hissey said: “Bozzy was such a massive character, he left an impression on everybody he met.

Smoke and toxic fumes billow from the industrial estate blaze. (SWNS)
Smoke and toxic fumes billow from the industrial estate blaze. (SWNS)
The inferno took firefighters more than 24 hours to bring under control. (SWNS)
The inferno took firefighters more than 24 hours to bring under control. (SWNS)

"Whether it was showing you a picture of a fish he’d caught, which was rare, joking around or singing Oasis at the top of his voice, you always knew he was around.”

Colleagues who worked alongside Aston Villa fan Mr Boswell also paid tribute to a "joker" who would always have workmates laughing.

Ben Curie said: “I knew Bozzy since I started Leesons at 20 years old and I have never felt such a connection.

There were reports of several explosions during the blaze. (SWNS)
There were reports of several explosions during the blaze. (SWNS)

"He was someone I could look up to, an inspiration and a hero at work. He never once put anybody down and put a smile on everyone’s face.”

Danilo Madruga and Kayleigh Mason said in a joint tribute: “He was always cracking jokes and making everyone smile, always positive. It is a sad truth that the good ones are taken from us earlier than they should.”

Detective Superintendent Jon Marsden said the site has now been handed over to the police.

Unstable chemicals and several hotspots in the building had previously prevented anyone from entering the plant. (SWNS)
Unstable chemicals and several hotspots in the building have prevented anyone from entering the plant. (SWNS)
The site has now been handed over to police. (SWNS)
The site has now been handed over to police. (SWNS)

Unstable chemicals and several hotspots in the building had previously prevented anyone from entering the plant.

Marsden said: ”We will be working with structural engineers and demolition experts to ensure the building is safe to enter, allowing us to commence our search.

"Unfortunately, this is still likely to take some time but it is important we ensure the safety of the search and investigation teams before they enter the site.”

Watch: Evacuations following large fire at Leamington Spa industrial estate

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