‘Leeds is on fire’: Huge chemical-fuelled blaze on Armley industrial estate leads to hazardous smoke warning for city
Police tell those in centre of Leeds to keep doors and windows closed
Police have warned residents in the centre of Leeds to keep windows and doors closed after fears that a huge fire on an industrial estate may be sending clouds of dangerous chemicals across the city.
Witnesses described scenes that were “like Armageddon” as loud booms and fireballs were sent up into the sky. A number of buildings in the area have been evacuated.
Police said they were called to the scene on Albion Way at around 2.30 this morning. They said that while fire crews have the blaze “surrounded” they expect to continue dealing with the situation for some time.
People said on Twitter that they had been evacuated from the Canal Mills nightclub, which is on the industrial estate, with one posting a picture and adding: “Leeds is on fire.”
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze began at a building used to store chemicals, and had spread to an adjacent structure.
West Yorkshire Police said that the building was used by packaging firm Tradepak, and warned that “due to the potentially hazardous nature of chemicals on the site, residents in the city centre area are being asked to keep windows and doors closed while the cause of the fire is assessed”.
The fire continued to sent up huge quantities of smoke well into the morning (Gemma Rathbone/Twitter) Speaking to BBC News, Leeds Metropolitan University student Anja Swan said: “We could see massive, massive clouds of thick black smoke, just billowing out into the air. We could see this even from our house about half a mile or so away.
“There were fireballs shooting. It was really ferocious, like Armageddon.”
A number of people on social media described being woken up by “ loud explosions”, with one commenting that it “sounds like we’re being invaded”.
Fire service area manager Ian Dunkley told BBC Breakfast: “We were called out at approximately 2am this morning to a large fire in a chemical recycling plant.
“Unfortunately, that's spread to an adjacent building that does commercial packaging.
“We've had approximately 80 firefighters on scene.
“The initial crews were trying to protect surrounding properties and, in fact, we've saved three surrounding business which will be available to open tomorrow.”
Earlier, smoke had caused the nearby Armley Gyratory Road to be closed, but that has now reopened. No one has yet been reported injured as a result of the fire.
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...