Massive Fire Rips Through UK Town, Stunning Onlookers as Images Flood Twitter


A massive fire resulting from more than 300 tons of burning plastic erupted in the town of Hessle near Hull, United Kingdom, on Wednesday.

Video clips and photos shared on social media show an enormous mushroom cloud of smoke caused by the raging inferno and explosions.

The fire led to evacuations and road closures and the rerouting of bus services, BBC reported. Fortunately, there were no injuries, according to the outlet.

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The Hessle fire started at around 4 p.m. local time in a factory owned by Thompsons Plastics, local outlet Hull Live reported.

Residents speaking to Hull Live reported that as the fire began spewing plumes of black smoke over the city, they heard “loud bangs” and “huge explosions every 10 seconds.”

One resident told the outlet that the explosions were “like bombs” and that debris similar to “coal” was falling on his garden.

According to Hull Live, some reports said that residents faced power outages.

The local police and fire departments were at the scene and were working to bring the flames under control. Authorities advised locals to stay away from the area of the fire and to keep their doors and windows closed, according to the Express.

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Emma Hardy, the Labour member of Parliament responsible for Hull West and Hessle, told her constituents to keep themselves safe during the blaze.

“I am hearing reports of a fire at the Thompsons plastics factory in Hessle. Please stay safe whilst the emergency services do everything they can to deal with this awful incident,” Hardy said in a Wednesday post on Twitter.

At the peak of the fire, the fire department had 14 fire engines deployed to the scene, according to the BBC.

While discovering the reason for the fire might take several days, the department said that the 330 tons of rigid plastic onsite served as the primary fuel for the fire, the report said.

“We are really confident the risk is incredibly low from those products combustion now, because we’ve knocked the fire down so significantly,” Humberside Fire and Rescue director Jason Kirby told the BBC.

“Any dangerous products in there, because of the high temperatures, will have burned off and shouldn’t impact any of the community,” he said.

Many on social media were shocked by images of the blaze.

Darren Spence, who said his father worked near the plastics factory, wrote on Twitter in a Thursday morning post that the site had been “burnt to the ground.”

The All Saints Church Hall opened its doors for those unable to go back home as a result of the fire, according to the BBC.

“We ended up with just the one person who needed our services — we could have accommodated 100. It was a good result,” church treasurer Stuart Pictar told the outlet.

A neighbor expressed worries that several people in the area might have about their jobs at the burned-down site.

“It is a local business we’ve lost. It’s very sad. Hessle is a small community anyway and a lot of people work there,” the neighbor, identified as Sue, told the BBC.

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Andrew Jose is a journalist covering business and finance, foreign policy and the aviation industry, among other beats.
Andrew Jose is a journalist covering business and finance, foreign policy and the aviation industry, among other beats. Besides The Western Journal, he regularly contributes to the Daily Caller and Airways Magazine, and has bylines in Lone Conservative and International Policy Digest. Speak to Andrew securely via Follow Andrew on Twitter: @realAndrewJose
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
Foreign Policy, Economics, Aviation, Business And Finance


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