Page last updated at 18:14 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 19:14 UK

Major fire at Huddersfield chemicals factory

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Les Fox captured footage of the fire

More than 150 firefighters have tackled a blaze at a chemicals factory on the outskirts of Huddersfield.

They were called out at 0105 BST after reports of an explosion at Grosvenor Chemicals site in Linthwaite.

West Yorkshire Fire Service said containers of pesticides and glue-based products were alight.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the substances present in the smoke plume were not at significant enough levels to cause long-term health risks.

The HPA said the substances could irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes and worsen existing respiratory health problems, although this should be short-lived.

The agency advised anyone who experiences unusual breathing problems or other respiratory symptoms to call the family doctor or NHS Direct for advice.

Scene of factory fire
Local resident Les Fox took this picture of the scene of the fire

Five schools closed for the day and 10 other schools delayed opening until later on Monday morning as a pall of smoke from the fire drifted eastwards towards Huddersfield town centre.

Staff from the Environment Agency were sent to the scene in an attempt to control the impact of chemicals on the surrounding area.

Part of the A62 was also closed for most of the day.

West Yorkshire Fire Service said at the height of the incident 30 fire engines were sent to the scene and its firefighters teamed up with colleagues from neighbouring brigades to tackle the fire.

Officers using foam spent several hours bringing the fire under control.

A fire service spokesman told BBC Look North the incident had the potential to be one of the most serious chemical fires it had had to deal with.



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