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Plastics fire at Viridor site

A fire at a Viridor plastic recycling plant has destroyed 500 tonnes of stock and an office building.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) said that 10 engines attended the blaze (pictured) at Medway City Estate in Rochester on 7 June, as well as a height vehicle and other specialist equipment.

Three fire engines remained at the site overnight after containing the blaze close to its source and preventing damage to the processing facility, which remains closed.

Viridor said in a statement: “The cause of the fire is under investigation at this stage, and Viridor will work closely with the emergency services to complete a thorough and detailed investigation.

“Approximately 500 tonnes of input stock and an office building have been destroyed. Early inspections suggest that the processing plant has not sustained significant damage. Viridor will contact customers to make alternative arrangements throughout the course of the day.”

The service said in a statement: “The main seats of the fire are now extinguished and a mechanical digger is being used to expose remaining hot spots which are being damped down with a hand held jet.”

At the height of the incident, a black plume of smoke was issuing from the site and KFRS urged residents to stay indoors.

No-one was injured.

Readers' comments (1)

  • This underlines the importance of fire safety within the workplace and the regulatory requirements on Responsible Person to ensure fire safety and risks are well assessed, monitored and reviewed regularly.
    The legal obligation remains with the employer and if more than one in a building, then they are all jointly and severally liable.
    In that case, carry out a 'suitable ' and 'sufficient ' risk assessment or employ a competent person to do it on your behalf.
    Do not ignore it as ignorance is not a defence in the eyes of the law.
    Jermaine Campbell (AIEMA)
    BSc (horns) Environmental Studies
    Dip Pollution Control

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A sensible and helpful observation - without in any way suggesting Viridor is not a responsible employer.

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