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Huge Port Talbot steelworks explosion injures two workers

Damian Healy
Damian Healy Copyright AP/Damian HealyAP/Damian Healy
Copyright AP/Damian Healy
By Alastair Jamieson
Published on Updated
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A huge explosion and fire rocked one of Europe's biggest steel plants early Friday, injuring two workers.

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A huge explosion and fire rocked the TATA steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales early Friday, injuring two workers.

Nearby residents were woken at about 3:30 a.m local time by the blasts that sent a huge cloud of smoke into the night sky.

Emergency services responded but TATA later said all workers at the plant, which is Britain’s largest and one of the biggest in Europe, had been accounted for.

“Living in Port Talbot you are used to the sounds of the steelworks but being woken at 3:35am by the biggest explosions I have ever heard is not an experience I recommend,” resident Marina Gange posted on Twitter. “Helicopters overhead now. God, I hope everyone is ok.”

More than 4,000 workers are employed at the plant and it was not immediately clear how production might be affected.

“We can confirm two of our employees were slightly injured when there was a spillage of liquid iron while it was travelling to the steel plant,” TATA said in a statement. “All fires have now been extinguished. A full investigation has begun.”

South Wales Police said there was no need for concern about hazardous chemicals in the air.

A statement said: “The explosion caused some small fires which are all under control and damage to some buildings on the site. South West Fire and Rescue Service have informed us there is no need for concerns re hazardous effects from the smoke from the fire. The motorway remains open.”

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