'Olympic blaze' at recycling centre remains mystery

Fire-fighters say it could take up to a week for the cause of a fire at a recycling plant in Dagenham, East London to be determined.

The blaze at Hunts Waste Recycling is the largest to be seen in London for several years and the London Fire Brigade are still at the scene damping down hot-spots.

More than 200 fire-fighters and 40 fire engines were called into action at the height of the blaze yesterday and a large plume of smoke could be seen across London. The whole of a single storey recycling building the size of a football pitch was alight.

It remains to be seen what the lasting impact of the fire on the environment will be. Environment Agency officers are at the scene coordinating air quality monitoring and feeding that data to the Health Protection Agency.

The London Fire commissioner Ron Dobson described the fire, which was first reported at 13.15 yesterday and declared under control by 17.30, as a "dramatic end to the Olympics."

"Fire crews will remain at the scene for as long as necessary and a thorough investigation will begin soon to establish how it started," he said.

Phone lines appeared down this morning and no contact could be made with Hunts Waste Recycling, which is a paper and plastics recycling company.

However edie spoke to Chris Dow, managing director of Closed Loop Recycling which is located nearby the site. Dow praised the fire brigades efforts to contain the fire, and said that disruption to other business in the area should be kept to a minimum as the Hunts' Chequers Lane factory was located on a dead end next to the river.

He hoped that lessons could be learnt from the incident as the area is home to a number of similar recycling facilities.

"There are many, many centres of this kind in the area and we always try and learn from these things," he said.

"It is always bad news when there's a fire in a related industry. Our sympathies go out to Hunts Waste Recycling and we remain ever vigilant."

Updates to follow.

Conor McGlone


| Olympic | Fire | Materials Recycling Facility


Waste & resource management

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