Flexitallic explosion to be investigated

An explosion in a Cleckheaton factory is set to be investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

Thirteen people were taken to hospital following an explosion at Flexitallic’s Scandinavia Mills facility – formerly known as Novus – on Monday at 8.30pm.

Fire crews were called after reports of an explosion in one of the ovens.

The incident happened in a ground floor extension of the factory and the damage was confined to the oven which is used for gasket sheet manufacturing.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said: “We are certainly looking into the incident, and attended the scene yetsterday. Investigations are still ongoing.”

People living in areas close to the factory reported hearing a ‘bang, and the floors in their homes ‘shaking’.

Nigel Robinson, from neighbouring Scandinavia Terrace, said: “It shook our house. I was in the living room when there was a huge bang and our ground shook.

“The next thing we knew, there were emergency services all over the street.”

One woman, who lives on Willow Street said: “I hate to say this, but when I heard the bang, I was worried a bomb had gone off – I was just relieved to hear nobody was injured.

“After the explosion, there was a strange smell that came into my house, but that soon went.”

Initial reports said that two people had been taken to hospital with minor injuries, but this morning the West Yorkshire Fire Service confirmed that 13 people had gone to hospital for precautionary check-ups.

Fire crews, using specialist equipment attended the scene, and a fire investigation officer was also in attendance.