Traffic chaos after fire
EXPLOSIVE GAS INSIDE BUILDING CAUSE FOR A1 CLOSURE
GAS used for welding metal was burning inside a major factory fire in Blaydon, police have revealed.
The blaze started in the North East Van and Bus factory on Chain Bridge Road, forcing the emergency services to shut the road as they put a 200m cordon around the building, directly under the A1.
The fire service were called to the scene shortly before 5pm and declared the fire a ‘significant incident’ after being alerted to potentially-explosive gas cylinders inside.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said that acetylene, a gas used to weld metal, was inside the factory.
He said: “The fire was in a vehicle repair garage; the North East Van and Bus centre.
“Inside there was some acetylene – a welding gas – being burned up, which the fire service were dealing with.
“The Chain Bridge Road is open in both directions, although the westbound slip road into the industrial estate is still closed.”
A spokeswoman for the fire service added: “One [cylinder] has been found in the factory and is currently being cooled.”
“Precautions were taken when we were made aware of that they were in the factory due to its location near the A1 and train line.
“We have got five appliances in total in attendance, with 18 people on scene.”
The fire caused significant disruption on the surrounding roads; plumes of smoke blowing across the A1 brought rush-hour traffic to a standstill, while long tailbacks formed on the blocked Chain Bridge Road, throughout Blaydon and up to Scotswood. Due to the fire, trains were unable to run between Newcastle and Hexham, causing several services to be cancelled and delaying many more. The train line was reopened shortly before 7.30pm, but firefighters were still in attendance at the factory.
Inside there was some acetylene — a welding gas — being burned up, which the fire service were dealing with Northumbria Police
Firefighters at the scene of the fire at Blaydon