British cartridge recycling firm suffers huge explosion
October 4, 2011
Gas canisters at the company’s location are believed to have caused the explosion.
The company, which collects and recycles cartridges on behalf of many of the OEMs including Canon, Ikon, Konica, Minolta, Ricoh and Sharp throughout Europe, is based at the Hobbs Industrial estate in Newchapel in Surrey, and the blast was reported to have occurred at around 11.23am on Monday morning.
200 of the company’s employees were evacuated, with over 100 firefighters tackling the blaze before other gas cannisters took light. Of the eight injured, four suffered serious wounds and three were airlifted to hospital with burns, whilst five were taken to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
Witness Natalie Dugdale told Sky News that fire officers told her the blast was caused by recycled printer toner, with the news outlet stating “it is thought the fire started on the ground floor of a unit” owned by eReco.
One worker told the Daily Mail he saw cartridges falling form the sky in the aftermath of the explosion, adding: “I heard a great big explosion and thought, what on earth was that? Then I looked out the window and there was all this debris coming down in the sky.
“It turned out to be stuff that looked like cartridges and bits were flying off the roof.”
Another witness, Peter Burns, told the Mail: “It was like a bomb had exploded. I ran straight out and there were bits floating in the air and flames coming from the building.
“There were a few guys staggering out from the building and away from the flames. The two blokes who were badly injured, I saw them and they were in a very bad way.
“Then everybody was evacuated to the field behind the estate.”
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