By Ian Neubauer

The identify of the second person killed as a result a massive explosion that blew the roof of the main plant at Drayton’s Family Wines in the Hunter Valley on Thursday morning is still unknown.

“We have not formally identified either one of them,” a NSW Police spokesman said today. “There are certain forensic procedures that have to be carried out and formalised before the victims can be identified.”

The first fatality is believed to be President of the Hunter Valley Vineyard Association and Drayton family patriarch, Trevor Drayton. The second is believed to be a contractor from Newcastle. The spokesman said an investigation was ongoing and refused further comment.

A parallel investigation by WorkCover NSW is also ongoing and yet to deliver any concrete facts on the case. However, a spokesman confirmed the explosion was likely caused by a welding operation.

“The fact is there was a welding operation going on at the time. They were working on one of the big winery vats and obviously the explosion occurred there,” he said. “Our technical experts have been on site since the weekend and it will be some time before we will be able to comment any further. It could be weeks before we get anything.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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