IT’S back to work at Andrew Jones Pies today (Wednesday).
The company’s pie-making factory on Old Leeds road was rocked by an explosion last week which killed one worker and seriously injured another.
The firm’s shops in Marsh and Brighouse have been closed since the tragedy.
But sales manager Graham Easby told the Examiner last night that the Brighouse shop would reopen today (Wednesday).
He said: “The shop will be open for the first time since the accident and we’ll also be starting sausage production at premises behind the shop.
“We hope the Marsh shop will reopen on Monday.”
Mr Easby added that Andrew Jones Pies were looking to move production to two other sites.
He said: “We’re hopeful of moving into the Bakehouse in Brighouse and Queen’s Mill in Lockwood. Full production should be a few weeks away.”
Seven men were working at the pie-making factory on Old Leeds Road when a blast brought down part of the roof and started a fire just after 5am on Good Friday.
The explosion killed father-of-two Dave Cole, 37, from Halifax. Marcus Cartwright, 24, of Crosland Moor was badly injured in the blast, suffering broken ribs, a burst eardrum, bruising to his spine and minor burns.
Mr Cartwright’s girlfriend Anne-Marie attended a meeting of Andrew Jones staff at the George Hotel yesterday (Tuesday).
Mr Easby said: “She came with the couple’s baby and said she appreciated that we were trying to do what was best.”
She told the 33 staff at the meeting that Mr Cartwright would have an operation today (Wednesday) at Leeds General Infirmary to remove a piece of bone from his lower back which is affecting his legs.
Staff observed a minute’s silence for Mr Cole at yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) meeting. Mr Easby said: “Initially the mood was sombre. Andrew Jones said some nice words about Dave, who was a lovely employee and someone you could have a laugh with.”
Workers were also informed of the company’s plans at yesterday’s (Tuesday) meeting.
Mr Easby said: “There’s obviously a lot of anxiety about where we stand, but we’ve said that in the short-term we’re instigating a period of gardening leave. We will be asking some people to work, it might be a case of people who normally make pies helping out by moving boxes.
“In the short-term there will be no redundancies.”
Staff will also be offered counselling to help them cope with the aftermath of the fatal explosion.
Investigation are still on-going to pinpoint the cause of the blast. A huge industrial oven is thought to be at the centre of investigations.
Swifts’ minute silence in memory of tragic ‘Taz’
A RUGBY team dedicated a game to a former player who died in the bakery blast on Friday.
Lindley Swifts also held a one-minute silence before the match against Hoyland Vikings in memory of ‘strong’ forward Dave Cole.
Dave died in an explosion at Andrew Jones Pies on Old Leeds Road.
The 38-year-old, known as Taz, started playing for the team in 1994.
Friend Shane Witaker told the Examiner that teammates nick-named him Taz because he would enthusiastically run into the centre of the action like a Tasmanian Devil.
Shane, 40, said: “He was a fun guy, a really nice bloke to get along with.
“He had a laugh with everybody and was a genuine bloke – nice and chilled out.”
Shane said the news of Dave’s death had come as a blow to the team.
He said:“I realised there was something the matter because I'm a refuse collector in that area.
“Someone said, do you know what's gone on at the factory and later someone rang me and told me.
“I had that feeling you get when you just know something is wrong but we hoped nothing had happened to Taz.
“He will be very, very sadly missed.”