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Firefighters battle inferno as fuel lorries explode

Flames leapt hundreds of feet into the night sky and a smoke plume stretched for 10 miles - as oil and red diesel tankers exploded on an industrial estate in Sussex in the early hours of last night.

100 firefighters from four fire services across the region fought the blaze at the Linton fuel oil depot on the Rowfant Business Park in Wallage Lane near Crawley Down. It's not yet known what caused the blaze.

Tonight firefighters remain at the scene.

Sarah Saunders spoke to Adrian Murphy of West Sussex Fire and Rescue, business owners and local residents from the scene of the fire.

Diesel and oil alight in blaze at business park

Credit: Eddie Mitchell

Around 60 firefighters have battled a large blaze at a business park in Crawley Down.

Firefighters were called in the early hours to Rowfant Business Park in Wallage Lane to find tanks of red diesel and heating oil alight.

Large plumes of smoke could be seen from the M23.

Residents have been advised to stay away and keep windows and doors shut.

The fire has now been extinguished but firefighters remain at the scene.

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Witness appeal after car hits lamp post - driver injured

A 23-year-old man is in hospital in a critical but stable condition after the car he was driving left the road and hit a tree in Crawley Down. The incident happened on Hophurst Lane in Crawley Down at around 3.40am this morning.

The driver suffered serious injuries. He was flown to St George's Hospital in London by the Kent, Surrey and Sussex air ambulance.

Hophurst Lane at Crawley Down was closed between its junctions with Fermandy Lane and Burleigh Way for more than four hours while emergency services were at the scene. Sussex Police are appealing for witnesses.

"Anyone who saw what happened or who may have seen the car being driven shortly before the collision is asked to phone Sussex Police on 101 or email: collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk , quoting Operation Custodian.

"In particular, we would like to hear from a taxi driver who may have dropped off the driver and some of his friends in Crawley Down shortly before this collision occurred. The taxi driver and the injured driver's friends may have valuable information that could help with our enquiries and we would urge them to come forward."

"I would also like to thank anyone whose journeys were affected by the road closure for their patience and understanding."

– Sergeant Alan Spicer, Sussex Police