Dramatic images show scaffolders running for their lives after a fireball explosion at an oil refinery in Cheshire.
Massive plumes of thick black smoke could be seen for several miles after a large fire broke out at the Stanlow oil refinery on Wednesday afternoon.
Firefighters were called to reports of a fire in Oil Site Road, Ellesmere Port at 2.16pm on Wednesday.
Images sent to ScaffMag from inside the oil refinery show the terrifying fireball coming from the SHOP chemical plant area of the refinery site. Bilfinger and Cape pre-shutdown scaffolders on site had been working in the area but were fortunately cabined up when the explosion happened.
All staff and contractors had been accounted for and evacuated from the affected area.
The Stanlow refinery owned by Essar Oil UK employs more than 900 staff and 500 contractors on site and supplies 16% of all road transport fuels.
A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service told local media: “Shortly after 2pm today emergency services received reports of a fire within the SHOP chemical plant at the Stanlow site in Ellesmere Port.
“Crews from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service along with onsite firefighters from Essar quickly brought the fire under control and it was fully extinguished within three hours.
“The fire caused a large plume of smoke above the site, which has now dispersed.
“The incident was confined to the manufacturing area of the site and did not affect the refinery. All staff within the affected area were evacuated as a precaution and there were no reports of any injuries.”
Investigations are now underway for what caused the fire.