Second blast drama at factory
AN urgent enquiry is underway after a food factory was rocked by a second explosion in a fortnight.
Those working near the Cargill plant in Trafford Park reported hearing a ‘loud bang’ and nearby buildings ‘shaking’ at around 1.30pm yesterday.
Emergency services raced to the complex on Guinness Road, including four fire engines and support units, along with paramedics and police vehicles.
A cordon was set up inside the large gated complex which employs around 300 people, as smoke and then steam used to fight the fire could be seen billowing from one of the units at the factory for several hours.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus could be seen scaling the unit as they carried out searches for anyone involved before tackling the blaze. They remained at the scene well into the evening.
The company later confirmed everyone had been accounted for and that no one was injured.
They also confirmed the incident involved the same gluten dryer facility which was the source of an almost identical incident a fortnight ago.
On that occasion, at around 3.30pm on Thursday, November 2, five fire engines responded after another ‘malfunction’ of the dryer which sent a ‘boom’ ringing out across the neighbouring industrial estate.
Company bosses say they believed the facility had been made safe and have described the second incident as ‘extremely disappointing,’ with an urgent investigation into the cause underway.
In a statement they said: “Cargill confirm that there was another malfunction of our dryer at our Manchester facility causing a loud bang. No one was injured.
“We take the safety of our people and operations very seriously and this is extremely disappointing.
“A dedicated team had worked tirelessly to get this equipment back up and running safely. The exact cause is not yet known but we will now do further investigations to understand this issue.
“We would like to thank the fire brigade for their swift response but want to reassure the public that there is no safety concern.”
The fire service said: “At 1.17pm on Monday, four fire engines and support vehicles were mobilised to a commercial property in Trafford Park Road after reports of an explosion.
“On arrival, firefighters found a fire on the fourth floor involving a gluten dryer.
“The fire was controlled by an in-built steam suppression system with firefighters wearing breathing apparatus using a thermal imaging camera to locate and control the fire from spreading.
“The Air Unit was also used at the incident to view the fire from above.”
Fire crews scale the factory after the second blast at the Cargill plant at Trafford Park