Ferrybridge Power station fire causes tower's partial collapse

media captionThis footage shows huge flames engulfing the power station, as Danny Savage reports

A fire at Ferrybridge C power station in West Yorkshire has caused the partial collapse of a tower on the site.

At its height some 75 firefighters tackled 100ft (30m) high flames, after the blaze broke out at about 14:00 BST.

Black smoke coming from the coal-fired power station led to problems on nearby roads, with drivers and householders advised to keep windows shut.

The blaze at the site near Castleford has now been brought under control.

'Rage of flame'

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) said no-one was injured but the blaze had resulted in the partial collapse of the tower, believed to be used to remove sulphur dioxide from gases produced at the power station.

National Grid said the station was currently on "summer shutdown" and had not been generating electricity.

It said a major substation on the site was not thought to have been damaged.

image copyrightDave Stretton
image captionFerrybridge C is the third coal-fired power station to be built on the site since 1924

Owner SSE said everyone on the site had been accounted for.

The BBC's Matt Richards tweeted to say a number of small explosions had been heard coming from the fire at one stage.

An eyewitness told the BBC: "Well at first we heard the fire siren go off and then we saw a thick black plume of smoke.

"We went outside and then about 10 minutes later it just all went up in a rage. Just a rage of flame."

Ian Bitcon, area manager for WYFRS, said the fire had been ferocious.

He said: "The building has buckled and is around 30ft lower than its sister building because of the fire.

"The company will need to demolish the part of the building affected by the fire, but we are still at the stage where there is enough firefighting that is going on that they cannot start that yet."

He said crews were expected to work through the night damping down the blaze.

media captionAbout 75 firefighters have been sent to the scene

The fire caused delays on the M62 and A1(M) for several hours when smoke blew across the road.

The B6136 Stranglands Lane in Knottingley is closed.

Public Health England advised motorists in the area to keep windows and air vents closed and to turn off air-conditioning.

Ferrybridge C is situated on the River Aire and is the third coal-fired power station to be built on the site since 1924.

The power station first fed electricity into the national grid in February 1966.

image copyrightHarriet Locke
image captionAt its height about 75 firefighters tackled the blaze at the power station near Castleford
image captionHuge plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the power station
image copyrightAlice Richardson
image captionFire crews were called to reports of a fire at the power station at about 14:00 BST
image copyrightJade Blears
image captionThe power station is on summer shutdown and no electricity is being generated

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