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Two injured after explosion and fires at Port Talbot steelworks

UK News | Published:

Locals reported their houses shook with the force of a blast.

Two people have suffered injuries after an explosion rocked the UK’s largest steelworks causing fire to break out.

Locals reported their houses shook with the force of a blast at the Tata Steel site in Port Talbot in the early hours of Friday morning.

Several bright flashes could be seen in video purported to be of the incident shared online.

Emergency services including paramedics and firefighters rushed to the complex after 999 calls began to stream in at around 3.35am.

One local resident tweeted: “There was just a big explosion from port Talbot steelworks that just shook the house, hoping no one was hurt.”

South Wales Police said two people had suffered minor injuries in the incident and urged locals to avoid the area.

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Early indications suggested the explosion came from a train used to carry molten metal, the force said.

Steel crisis
Police said the explosion is thought to have involved a train used to carry molten metal (PA)

“Emergency services remain on scene but we have had confirmation that all members of staff are accounted for and there are only two casualties with minor injuries.

“Early indications are that the seat of the explosion was a train which carries molten metal into the works.

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“The explosion caused some small fires which are all under control and damage to some buildings on the site.

“South West Fire and Rescue Service have informed us there is no need for concerns re hazardous effects from the smoke from the fire.”

The force added that the M4 motorway remained open.

Tata Steel said its personnel were working with emergency services at the scene.

It tweeted that the Port Talbot site had reopened to works traffic and it was assessing “any potential damage” caused during the incident.

“We can confirm there are no serious injuries and all employees have been accounted for. All fires are now under control,” the company tweeted.

Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock said the incident “raises real concerns about safety at the works”.

“It could have been a lot worse. Grateful as always to the emergency services for their rapid and effective response,” he wrote on Twitter.

“@TataSteelEurope must conduct a full review, to improve safety.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “I would like to extend my thanks to our emergency services who responded so quickly and effectively to the incident and wish a speedy recovery to the people who were injured this morning.

“I will want to see the outcome of Tata’s investigation to ensure that any lessons can be learned from today’s incident to ensure the ongoing safety of the Port Talbot workforce and community.”

And Wales Secretary Alun Cairns said: “It is important that Tata Steel Europe addresses safety concerns that could arise as a result of this incident to ensure the well-being of staff and residents in the local and wider community.”

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