Tilbury Port explosion badly damages grain terminal silos

The roof of a grain store has been partially destroyed in a “massive explosion” at Tilbury Port in Essex.

The blast happened at about 09:55 BST, the fire service said.

A witness described hearing the “horrendous” noise “like a bomb going off”, while another said “flames shot up about 75m above the silos”.

A Port of Tilbury spokeswoman confirmed a “major incident” had taken place and the ambulance service said one person had been treated for smoke inhalation.

Tony Coughlin, who lives close to the port, said: “I saw it explode, it was just horrendous. It sounded like a bomb going off and I saw the flames shoot up into the air.

“About six of the silos exploded, the tops are all gone.”

Explosion at grain silo
The roof has been left mangled after an explosion at the grain store
Grain silo explosion
A Port of Tilbury spokeswoman confirmed a “major incident” had taken place

Grain store roof mangled in ‘massive explosion’

Mark Cameron, who was on board a ship in the docks at the time, tweeted: “There’s just been an explosion in Tilbury harbour at the grain terminal – lifted the roof off.”

“I just felt the ship shake so came up on deck, a colleague said the flame shot up about 75m (246ft) above the silos,” he said.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service said four fire engines were sent to the grain terminal shortly before 10:00 BST.

Crews found grain on fire inside the plant and were able to remove unaffected grain so it did not ignite.

Grain store fire damage
The roof of part of the store was destroyed
Damaged grain silo
The silos to the right of the grain store have been badly damaged
Grain store fire
Smoke and flying debris could be seen for miles

East of England Ambulance Service sent crews to the scene, together with the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

“One patient was transported by land to Basildon and Thurrock Hospital with smoke inhalation,” a spokesman said.

“We remain on the scene as medical back-up for the fire service.”

A Port of Tilbury spokeswoman said: “We confirm that there has been a major incident at the grain terminal within The Port of Tilbury.”

She later said the port was operating as normal, the site was not deemed to pose a risk and an investigation was under way into the cause of the fire.

Article Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-53279080

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