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Onshore News: Major gas terminal blaze put out

Posted on 28.02.2008 - 18:50 EST in GENERAL NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links

Major gas terminal blaze put outFire crews have put out a major blaze at one of the largest gas terminals in the UK, after an explosion.

The fire broke out in a water treatment plant at the Shell UK base on Paston Road at Bacton in North Norfolk.

Shell UK said all personnel had been accounted for and an emergency centre was set up at Shell HQ in Aberdeen.

Emergency services were still on site in the late evening and Norfolk Fire Service said 10 crews dealt with what they described as "a major incident".

Much of the UK's North Sea gas comes ashore at BactonThe terminal, operated by several energy companies, houses gas processing plants and the Interconnector system feeding gas between Britain and Europe.

The Norfolk Fire Service spokeswoman said it did not believe any chemicals were involved but it had set up a foam monitoring system.

The Nation Grid said there had been no threat to the UK's gas supply.

Anna Hollis, from a nearby holiday park, said: "Just after the fire broke out we could see flames and smoke shooting up into the air and the alarm was going off very loudly.

"It was really alarming. We could see the fire was right in the centre of the terminal and there were helicopters flying all around.

"All we can see now is billowing black smoke."

Norfolk Fire Service received the emergency call at 1745 GMT.

John Ellis, emergency planning officer at the terminal, said fire crews were now at the Shell site. He said he believed there had been an explosion related to a fire.

View of the plume of smoke taken by student Emma James, 20Patricia Myles, whose garden overlooks the terminal's site, said: "First we heard a bang and then I came out of the back and I walked along the track and all I could see was black smoke.

"Once I got to the end of the lane there were flames shooting up 10ft or 20ft, maybe more, in the air and within about five or six minutes the flames went down and there was just a lot of black smoke.

"But there was a lot of activity going on, with sirens and everyone running about there."

© 2008 - BBC News
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