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Battery recycling site hit by fire

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is still at the scene of a blaze that took hold at battery recycling facility Loddon Recycling on Friday (26 August).

At its height, 75 fire-fighters from Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire were required to tackle the fire at the site in Lasham, near Basingstoke.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team are now helping to cut away and remove the collapsed structure, in order to access the stored batteries, which have melted into a single mass.

The fire initially began in a storage facility containing 300 tonnes of recovered alkaline, zinc chloride and lithium batteries, two diesel vans and plastic and cardboard boxes used for packaging. As the incident unfolded, fire crews established that the fire involved propane cyclinders and a 5,000-litre tank of diesel. A building containing commercial horse vehicles was also damaged.

There are no reported casualties, and an investigation is underway to determine the cause.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service area manager Steve Trevethick said: “The fire developed extremely fast with huge intensity, ripping through the building and setting nearby vehicles alight. Upon arrival, crews assisted in the swift evacuation of employees. A dozen local private residences were evacuated as a precaution, and other occupants were advised to stay indoors with their doors and windows closed.”

Helicopters from both the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hampshire Constabulary were used for aerial surveillance.

A notice on the Loddon Recycling website tells customers that storage facilities have become limited, but its “sorting service is unaffected and we are attempting to achieve continuity with little or no interruption”.

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