Explosion rips through waste plant at Tockwith

The scene in Tockwith

The scene in Tockwith

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Business editor

RESIDENTS in Tockwith are still advised to keep their doors and windows closed while firefighters tackle a “hazardous” fire.

Dozens of firefighters have been tackling the blaze at BCB Environmental Waste Services on Marston Moor Business Park in Tockwith, since about 4am today.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said crews are still fighting a couple of hotspots where there are small pockets of fire within the building.

A spokeswoman said they would continue to advise residents to stay in their homes with windows and doors shut until the fire was completely out.

A thick cloud of black smoke from the fire, which was visible from York and further afield, darkened the area’s skyline until late this morning.

Tockwith resident Dave Simpson, an arts journalist for The Guardian, said: "At about 6am I heard what sounded like demolition noises or the sound of a quarry.

"When I got up I saw a massive black cloud over the BCB chemical plant, headed over the village.

"Then there were more noises which it became apparent were explosions. One of them shook my house. The police have advised us to stay indoors and not even walk pets. My partner cannot leave for work.

"My neighbour says the BCB plant is now totally destroyed."

James Moore works on the industrial estate and said smoke from the fire was visible at about 3.45am.

"I could see the smoke at about quarter to four from Wetherby Road, but the flames weren't really visible until about 6am," he said.

"There were a couple of explosions and a big ball of fire at about 7am, by which time they were letting people back into parts of the industrial estate."

Another local resident said she was woken by a "series of bangs" and said she looked out of her window and saw thick smoke.

Earlier this year, BCB was fined £40,000 after admitting three health and safety offences involving its handling of flammable chemicals and its equipment.

More to follow when available.

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