Wales

Investigation into second Kronospan factory fire in a year

Smoke and flames coming from part of the Kronospan factory in Chirk Image copyright Mark Roberts
Image caption Kronospan said the fire was probably caused by an electrical fault

An investigation has begun at a Wrexham factory after firefighters tackled the second major fire there in 12 months.

Crews were called to Kronospan panelling factory in Chirk at about 22:00 BST on 31 July after a fire began in one of the plant's filter towers.

No-one was hurt, and the company has said the blaze was likely to have been caused by an electrical fault.

The factory has suffered numerous fires in recent years, with five breaking out in 2012 alone.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is investigating what caused the latest fire at the factory, which employs some 600 people.

The blaze began in one of the factory's SEKA filter towers, with onlookers taking photos of flames and smoke billowing from the building.

Image copyright Paula Evans
Image caption The fire began just before 22:00 BST on Tuesday 31 July

Chirk south councillor Terry Evans said workers' safety was the council's main concern as the investigation gets under way.

"The fire service and the staff did an excellent job and we're glad that no-one was hurt," he said.

In September 2017, firefighters tackled a serious blaze at the factory after wood chip caught fire in a silo area.

Residents also sought legal action over the factory's dust emissions, with more than 1,000 people joining a Facebook group to highlight air pollution issues in the area.

However, Wrexham Council says Kronospan is trying to reduce emissions.

Councillor Hugh Jones, who leads on public protection, said: "There has been progress with building dust-containment structures and implementing new dust control systems at the site to reduce excess emissions."

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