Explosions in Derbyshire town

Witnesses have reported hearing explosions at an old warehouse in the Derbyshire town of Belper.

Live updates

Report: Investigation into cause of fire in Belper begins

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has reportedly begun an investigation with police into the cause of a fire that caused extensive damage at a former chocolate factory in Belper:

A spokesman told the Derby Telegraph:

All we know is there has been an explosion in the building.

We think it has been caused by a gas cylinder. At this point, we are waiting for an investigation unit to turn up to determine whether it was arson.

These investigations will be carried out in conjuction with the police. No-one has been injured but the building is 100% damaged.

– Gavin Tomlinson, area manager, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service


Cricketers 'forced to abandon pitch as smoke fills air'

The chairman of Derbyshire County Cricket Club said that his team's game against Lancashire had to be called off as a result of the fire.

He gave this account to the Derby Telegraph:

I was watching the game when I spotted the fire and it became clear the building had exploded.

I ensured all of the players and the umpires got off the pitch straight away and got back inside.

All of a sudden people started to move their cars very quickly, in case it started to get worse ...

– chris grant, chairman, Derbyshire County Cricket Club


Police: Fire under control but asbestos still a concern

Emergency services dealing with a fire at a disused factory in Belper are advising people to stay away from the Derwent Street area.

Police and the fire service were contacted at around 3.30pm following reports of an explosion and fire at the former Thornton’s factory on Derwent Street.

The fire was put out by fire fighters by 4.40pm but Derwent Street remains closed and there are significant traffic problems in the area.

Emergency services are concerned the explosion may have caused asbestos to disperse and are advising anyone who finds any unusual material not to touch it but to contact Derbyshire police on 101.

– Derbyshire Constabulary
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