Leamington Spa fire: Fallen debris warning at site of industrial blaze

- BBC News

Leamington Spa fire: Fallen debris warning at site of industrial blaze

Residents near a huge fire at a plastics manufacturer are being warned not to touch or attempt to clear fallen debris.

One employee is still missing following the blaze at Leeson Polyurethanes Ltd in Leamington Spa on Friday, which caused explosions.

Warwickshire Police said it wanted to reassure residents the fallen debris would be removed.

A large plume of smoke from the site was visible for miles around.

The Warwickshire force said: "As a precautionary measure, please do not touch or attempt to clear debris in the meantime."

The missing employees family has been kept informed, Supt Mike Smith said.

He described the fire at the site on Juno Drive as "incredibly challenging" and said all other staff were safe.

In a short statement published on its website, the company said it was cooperating fully following the "major incident at the premises".

Chief fire officer Barnaby Briggs, from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, told a press conference on Friday the explosions were caused by vats of chemicals caught in the flames.

He said the blaze was contained, but would take several days to put out fully.

Supt Smith added eight people so far had been evacuated from their homes and that most were able to stay with other family members.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing "small pops" like explosions and a strong chemical smell.

Ben Coleman told the BBC: "Theres a bit of a smell... I heard small explosions - nothing too big, it was a few, like, pops.

"I could see a big dark cloud, and I thought it was a thunderstorm, then I looked to my right and saw a big plume of smoke coming up from the building."

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service was joined at the scene by colleagues from West Midlands Fire Service and other neighbouring crews.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said one ambulance, a paramedic officer and a Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) attended.

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