Tilbury Power Station Fire ‘Must Be Fully Investigated’

Around 120 Firefighters Need To Tackle Blaze

28.02.2012

A full investigation will prove vital in determining what caused a major fire at a power station in Essex yesterday (February 27th), according to an expert in industrial accidents at Irwin Mitchell.

The blaze broke out in a storage area at the Tilbury station which contained around 4,000 tonnes of wood pellets, with more than 120 firefighters being called upon to tackle the fire.

It is not yet known what caused the incident, but the fire service on the scene is now working to remove wood chippings away from the storage unit.

RWE npower, which owns the station, has confirmed that all employees had been accounted for following the incident.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injury at Irwin Mitchell, has acted for and continues to represent victims hurt in serious industrial accidents. His team notably helped 75 workers and residents injured in the 2001 Killingholme refinery explosion, which at the time, was the largest chemical disaster since 1974.

Commenting on this incident, he said: “Major fires at work like this one can be incredibly serious incidents which can affect workers and residents living nearby.

“While it is welcome that no one has reportedly been hurt in this incident, experience has taught me that it often takes time for people with psychological injuries to come forward. Clearly, I hope the early indications are indeed accurate. Irrespective of any injuries, it is absolutely vital that a full investigation is carried out as soon as the area is safe to determine what happened and how this fire began.

“We hope that RWE npower and authorities including the Health and Safety Executive can provide reassurances that steps will be taken to prevent a fire of this magnitude from breaking out again.

“Lessons must be learned from this, as there is every possibility that next time workers may not escape uninjured.”