Traf­fic chaos af­ter fire

EX­PLO­SIVE GAS IN­SIDE BUILD­ING CAUSE FOR A1 CLO­SURE

The Chronicle - - Front Page - By TOM EDEN tom.eden@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @tome­den11 Re­porter

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

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