A cider factory is the centre of investigations into an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the Midlands, it was reported yesterday. The outbreak has already killed two people, and the number affected has risen to 13.

Investigations of a cooling tower at Bulmers cider factory in Hereford have revealed the presence of the Legionella bug. The company said yesterday that results were "possibly positive", according to Birmingham's Evening Mail. Bulmers pointed out, however, that even if the presence of the bug is confirmed, this would not necessarily pinpoint the outbreak of the disease to the firm.

The company has also said that production continues as normal, with the area of the factory around the cooling tower closed. "There is also no risk to the public from drinking our products," a spokesman told the Evening Mail.