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Two die in accident at Banham Poultry in Norfolk

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Banham Poultry
Image caption The two men were found dead at Banham Poultry in the early hours

Two men have died in an industrial accident at a poultry firm in Norfolk.

Police were called to Banham Poultry, Station Road, Attleborough at about 01:10 BST following reports two subcontractors had been found dead.

The men, aged in their 30s and 40s, were from a pest control company and were found dead close to the factory.

Police have not given further details, but Greater Anglia said Cambridge-bound trains would not stop at Attleborough because of a “chemical spillage”.

The fire service, police and the Health and Safety Executive are all at the scene.

A cordon is in place at the factory and at the nearby railway station, where only the Norwich-bound platform is open.

Greater Anglia said disruption was expected until the end of the day.

On Wednesday, Banham Poultry announced it was up for sale, leaving hundreds of jobs potentially at risk.

Two bids are being considered, one of which aims to keep the business in Attleborough, while the other plans to move production elsewhere.

The company is one of Norfolk’s biggest employers, with about 1,000 staff.

It has been approached for comment on the deaths.

At the scene

BBC Radio Norfolk’s Wally Webb

Image caption The nearby railway station at Attleborough has been cordoned off

It is extremely quiet here.

There haven’t been the usual comings and goings of the working day – no staff arriving, no Banham Poultry vehicles leaving the site.

There is a police presence both here and at the railway station.

A police forensics van is parked outside the factory and I have seen security guards walk by, but very little else.

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said two ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, three hazardous area response teams and an air ambulance have been sent

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, two men died at the scene,” he said.

Norfolk Fire Service said it sent crews from five fire stations, including two environmental protection units. Crews wore breathing apparatus and used gas monitors to make the area safe.

Image caption Banham Poultry is one of the area’s biggest employers

Det Ch Insp Stu Chapman said: “On behalf of Norfolk Police and other emergency services, I offer my condolences to the friends and families of the men killed in this incident and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

“Colleagues from Norfolk Fire Service continue to make the scene safe so that detailed investigations can begin between police, fire, and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to understand the circumstances which lead to the men’s deaths.”

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