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Lithium batteries blamed for Viridor fire

A Viridor recycling centre in St Helens has been hit by a fire which took the weekend to extinguish.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service said four fire engines and a combined platform ladder were called to the site at Cornwall Road in the early hours of Saturday morning and found an area of waste 50x50 metres on fire.

They were later joined by other firefighting equipment and used compressed air foam to fight the fire, which involved plastic and electrical waste.

It generated a 30 metres high smoke plume, which led to health warnings being issued to the public.

A Viridor statement said: ”While the cause of the fire has not been identified, waste site operators know that it is most likely attributed to lithium ion batteries. These batteries are the main cause of waste site fires. They are commonly found in a variety of products, including mobile phones, toys, cameras, e-cigarettes and laptop computers.

”Viridor thanks the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service for its assistance, and asks people to responsibly dispose of these batteries at household waste recycling centres”.

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