Lightning strike causes fireball at food waste plant

By James Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Anaerobic digestion, Oxfordshire

A lightning strike that ignited a huge methane gas fireball at a food waste management site in Oxfordshire has caused £250,000 of damage.

The fire at Agrivert in Benson, Oxfordshire, started when lightning ignited gas stored in a waste digester.

Fire crews were called to the fire at Agrivert at about 5.19pm following a lightning strike at the facility. The blaze destroyed the factory’s roof.

Four crews attended from Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire Fire Services. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze.

Site specialists

Crews worked with site specialists to ensure the plant was left in a safe condition, leaving the scene shortly after 11pm. No one was injured in the explosion.

Commercial manager Harry Waters told BBC News: “​[Staff] are well trained, did exactly what they were supposed to do, and isolated the plant and made it safe.

“We were back up-and-running within an hour. It looks quite dramatic in the video but caused a surprisingly small amount of damage.”

Flames rising high

Video footage from local resident Emma Shepperd shows flames rising high into the air from the roof of the Agrivert site.

Meanwhile, dramatic CCTV footage of a masked arsonist attacking a London bakery has been released by the Metropolitan Police.

The blaze at Persian bakery Tavazo on Monday, March 14 happened a day before the store was due to open for the first time. Damage to the premises was estimated to have cost the company £50,000.

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