Essex

Fairglen interchange fire continuing to burn

Fairglen interchange fire Image copyright Essex Fire and Rescue
Image caption On Tuesday, rail services between Rayleigh and Wickford were stopped because of the tyre fire

A fire which caused "severe disruption" to road and rail services in Essex is continuing to burn into its third day.

The fire involving a 160ft (50m) long stack of tyres at Michelins Farm in Rayleigh started on Monday night.

Train services between Rayleigh and Wickford were cancelled on Tuesday and residents warned to stay indoors to avoid breathing in smoke.

A smoke plume over the site remains visible. A police investigation into the cause of the fire continues.

Image copyright Essex Fire and Rescue
Image caption Fire teams used fire suffocating foam early in the operation to try to bring flames under control
Image copyright Essex Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption The previous owner of the site was jailed last year for environmental breaches

The A1245 southbound between the Fairglen interchange and the Carpenters Arms roundabout reopened about 16:00 GMT.

The northbound carriageway remains closed while fire and other agencies manage the ongoing incident, but it is hoped it will reopen on Thursday morning, police said.

Image copyright Essex Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption A new owner took over the site last year. It had been hoped the plot would be cleaned up and redeveloped as a business park

Talks are under way between the Environment Agency and Rochford District Council over the future of the site, which was last year at the centre of legal and enforcement action.

The previous owner, Roger Phipps, was jailed for six months last July for environmental offences and a breach in planning laws. A new owner took it over last year and it was hoped the plot would be cleaned up and redeveloped as a business park.

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