UPDATE: Firefighters extinguish blaze at Cantley sugar factory

Fire fighters have left the Cantley sugar factory following a spectacular blaze yesterday afternoon.

Smoke could be seen for miles across the marshes when the fire broke out in a cooling tower at about 3pm.

The sugar beet campaign ended last month so no processing was taking place at the time.

Staff were immediately withdrawn from the affected area of the site where it is understood potentially-explosive gas bottles were stored.

On-site firefighters tackled the blaze at the outset but they were unable to stop flames engulfing the building.


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One contractor working on site described how he saw smoke coming out of the cooling tower before it went up in flames 'within seconds'.

The factory fire fighters were swiftly joined by nine appliances sent by Norfolk Fire Service. One fire engine came from Acle, three from Great Yarmouth including the aerial ladder platform; crews also came from Carrow, Earlham and Wymondham.

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By 5pm a fire service spokesman confirmed the blaze had been brought under control and two appliances had been stood down.

The last crews left the factory around 7.30pm.

A spokesman for British Sugar said: 'The local fire brigade was called to our Cantley factory to attend a fire located away from our main factory buildings.

'I can confirm all personnel have been accounted for.'

A spokesman for Greater Anglia said late afternoon trains were running more slowly than normal because of the track's proximity to the factory.

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