UK: Belper, Derbyshire – Explosion and fire at former Thorntons factory sparks asbestos fear – 100513 2220z

(Photo: belpernews.co.uk) Fire at former Thorntons factory , Belper, Derbyshire

“Eyewitnesses reported a horrific bang as a large explosion went off in a former factory building in Belper town centre.

Workers at nearby businesses said they were shocked at the speed at which the fire spread at the former Thorntons site on Derwent Street when it broke out at around 3.30pm on Friday.

Firefighters and paramedics were quickly on the scene and a police investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire.

A police helicopter circled over the affected area warning residents to shut doors and windows as plumes of smoke containing asbestos spread quickly across the town.

Nigel Taft, 42, of nearby business Amber Valet said: “I had just pulled-up on Derwent Street when there was a horrific huge bang and then what sounded like big fireworks going off. I heard it was ignited with propane.”

Daniel Wilson, 17, said: “The fire went up so quickly and with such an explosion. The paramedic cars were here so quickly and the firefighters had it under control in a really short space of time.”

Police and fire chiefs advised people living nearby not to pick it up debris as it may contain asbestos.

Now, Amber Valley Borough Council has employed a specialist contractor to begin the initial clean up.

If you suspect that some of this material may be on your property please call the council to arrange its removal on 01773 841414.

A spokesman issued the following advice:

• Dampen any materials

• Minimise your exposure to the material.

• Wear gloves if you need to move the material.

• Do not break up the material.

• The material can be placed in double plastic bags for later collection by Amber •

Valley Borough Council.

Derbyshire FRS: Incident at Belper, if you find any debris from the fire, please do not touch, inform Environmental Health or Police. Now safe to open your windows. Thanks everyone for your co-operation.” – extracts from belpernews.co.uk

Videos

Fire Behind Belper Tackle and Gun 10/5/13

(Video credit: cubleycat)

Published on 10 May 2013

Fire Behind Belper Tackle and Gun at what appears to be the old Thornton’s factory, sounded like fireworks but the noise was the asbestos roof popping.

Belper Fire

(Video credit: bangkokram)

Belper explosion

(Video credit: Dorian Carr)

Published on 10 May 2013

As it happens the belper explosion

belper explosion

(Video credit: Tanya Whelan)

Published on 10 May 2013

smoke rising in the aftermath of an explosion in a disused factory in belper

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