Surrey

Lingfield fire: Eight injured in factory explosion

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Media captionFire crews have been tackling the blaze at the Hobbs industrial estate since about 11:30 BST

Eight people are being treated in hospital, four of them for serious injuries, following in an explosion and fire at a Surrey factory.

They are being treated for burns, respiratory problems and head injuries.

Fire crews spent several hours bringing the blaze at Hobbs industrial estate in Newchapel, near Lingfield, under control on Monday.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters would remain at the scene overnight.

Officials said there were gas cylinders at the site and progress had been "difficult" throughout the day.

The cause of the blaze, which started at about 11.30 BST, is not yet known.

One casualty was airlifted to a London hospital, five were admitted to the East Surrey Hospital at Redhill and two were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

'Bits flying off'

Ian Thomson, of Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, said all those in the building at the time of the blaze had been accounted for.

Surrey Police asked people to stay away from the area.

One employee at the industrial estate, who did not want to be named, said: "I heard a great big explosion and thought, what on Earth was that?

"Then I looked out the window and there was all this debris coming down in the sky.

"It turned out to be stuff that looked like cartridges and bits were flying off the roof."

The explosion was heard by people at the nearby London England Temple, a Mormon place of worship.

One engineer, who did not want to be named, said he was working on a roof near the boundary of the temple's 32-acre grounds.

"There was a massive, massive bang, a large bang, with a little after-bang but that was it," he said.

He said a lot of smoke could be seen near the industrial estate, which is located about 10 miles (16km) east of Gatwick Airport.

The fire began in a unit at the industrial estate being used by a company that recycles electrical equipment.

About 75 people were evacuated from surrounding businesses.

The Environment Agency is supporting the fire service after it emerged there was a run-off of water used to dampen the flames.

Christine Brooks, 59, a waitress at the Peacock Lodge pub in Newchapel, said workers from the industrial estate had been evacuated from the site to the pub.

She said there had been a "huge vibration" and "everything just shook".

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