Company director George Boden has denied ‘gross negligence manslaughter’ after four people died in a huge mill explosion in Cheshire.
Shortly after 9.10am on July 17 2015, firefighters from across the county scrambled to Wood Treatment Ltd on Tunstall Road, Bosley.
Mill workers Dorothy Bailey, aged 62, Williams Barks, aged 51, Derek Moore, aged 62, and Jason Shingler, aged 38, were all killed in the disaster at the mill, which made wood chip products.
Now, Boden, aged 64, has pleaded guilty to four counts of gross negligence manslaughter when appearing before Chester Crown Court.
Two mill managers, Philip Smith, 58, and Peter Shingler, 56, were also in the dock for the hearing on Friday.
They both entered not guilty pleas to a health and safety offence, along with Boden, who pleaded not guilty to the same offence.
The firm has also been charged with corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences, to which not guilty pleas were entered.
The four-storey Cheshire mill was reduced to rubble as a 1,000 degree inferno ripped through the building and burned for days afterwards.
All three defendants were given unconditional bail by Judge Steven Everett, until a further three-day hearing starting on December 9.
The trial date has been set for January 11, next year.