Today's news: Latest headlines for the UK on Thursday 3 December

Matilda Long
·4-min read

If you would like today’s top stories straight to your inbox every day, sign up to our daily ‘Catch-up’ newsletter. You can also visit our Today’s News section, which gets updated daily.

The scene in Avomouth, Bristol, as fire crews, police and paramedics are responding to a large explosion at a warehouse where there have been multiple casualties. (PA)
The scene in Avomouth, Bristol, as fire crews, police and paramedics are responding to a large explosion at a warehouse where there have been multiple casualties. (PA)

— Today's top story in 60 seconds —

Four killed in explosion at waste water plant

What happened?

Four people have died following an explosion at a waste water treatment works in Avonmouth near Bristol. Police confirmed that three Wessex Water employees and a contractor died after the blast, while another person was injured. It is thought the explosion involved a chemical tank at the water recycling centre.

What do we know about the explosion?

Emergency services were called at approximately 11.20am to reports of a large explosion involving one of the chemical tanks at the site. Inspector Mark Runacres, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: “The fire service led the rescue operation but sadly, despite the best efforts of all those involved, we can confirm there have been four fatalities. This includes three employees of Wessex Water and one contractor. Specially trained officers have this afternoon made contact with each of the families of those individuals and informed them of the sad news. This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies go out to them.”

'Deeply saddened'

Boris Johnson thanked the emergency services after the tragedy. “Deeply saddened to learn that four people have lost their lives in the water works explosion in Avonmouth,” he said on Twitter. “Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. Thank you to the emergency services who attended the scene.”

The big coronavirus stories today—

UK COVID death toll passes 60,000

A further 414 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the UK total to 60,113. Separate figures from the UK's statistics agencies show that there have now been 76,000 deaths with COVID mentioned on the death certificate in the UK. Read the full story here (HuffPost)

Fauci: UK 'not as careful' on vaccine

America’s top coronavirus expert has suggested the UK approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine too quickly. Dr Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the UK “did not do it as carefully” as the US will. Read the full story here (Yahoo)

Facebook bans false vaccine claims

Facebook has said it will start removing false claims about new coronavirus vaccines. The social media site will remove disinformation – including claims vaccines contain microchips or anything else not on the official ingredient list – but warned it will “not be able to start enforcing these policies overnight”. Read the full story here (Yahoo Finance)

Number of positive tests falls in England

The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has dropped by 28% compared to the previous week, according to the latest figures from NHS Test and Trace. A total of 110,620 people tested positive for coronavirus in England at least once in the week to 25 November. Read the full story here (Yahoo)

— Have your say —

— What else happened today? —

PM presses on with Brexit legislation

Boris Johnson will press ahead with plans allowing ministers to tear up the Brexit divorce deal despite the current round of UK-EU talks being at a critical stage. The government confirmed it will ask MPs to reinstate controversial legislation giving ministers the power to break international law. Read the full story here (PA Media)

Snow warnings for parts of UK

The UK is braced for more wintry weather ahead of the first weekend of December, with warnings in place for ice and snow. Large parts of Scotland and areas of northern England, including the Pennines and the Yorkshire Moors, are predicted to see snow and icy conditions – which could cause travel disruption. Read the full story here (Sky News)

GCSE and A-levels will go ahead

Gavin Williamson has given an “absolutely” cast-iron guarantee that exams in England will not be cancelled this academic year. It came as the government unveiled a package of measures for students sitting their A-level and GCSE exams in the summer to compensate for disruption to their schooling during the pandemic. Read the full story here (The Guardian)

Heading 2 headline

A woman died after she was strangled when two dogs pulled on their leads, which were around her neck, an inquest has found. The coroner ruled that the death Deborah Roberts, 47, was an accident, calling it a "tragic case". Read the full story here (Yahoo)

— Our editors curate stories each day from our own reporters and our media partners to help you stay informed and feel prepared. Download the newsletter here —

(Yahoo News)
(Yahoo News)