Port Talbot Tata steelworks: Police attend ‘explosion’

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PA

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The steelworks is one of the main employers in the local area

Police are at Tata’s Welsh steelworks following reports of an explosion at the plant in the early hours.

Residents living near the Port Talbot plant spoke of hearing a “massive” blast shortly after 03:30 BST.

Images posted on social media show flames at the site and plumes of smoke. Helicopters were reported to be circling overhead.

Tata Steel said the fires at the plant are “under control” and all employees had been accounted for.

It said there had been no serious injuries.

South Wales Police said in a statement that it received “numerous calls” shortly after 03:30 “reporting an explosion”.

“At this time we believe there are just two casualties with minor injuries,” it added.

‘The house shook’

Local resident Craig Williams told the BBC that he heard “an almighty bang”.

“It’s very unusual to hear something of that magnitude,” he said.

“It was just a huge bang. The house shook a little. It’s not something we are accustomed too”

Mr Williams said that Port Talbot “revolves around this plant” and that it helps to “bring the community together”.

The steelworks is the largest in the UK and employs more than 4,000 people.

Early indications suggested the explosion came from a train used to carry molten metal, police said.

“The explosion caused some small fires which are all under control and damage to some buildings on the site,” a spokesman said.

“South West Fire and Rescue Service have informed us there is no need for concerns re hazardous effects from the smoke from the fire.”

The National Police Air Service’s St Athan wing confirmed a helicopter had been scrambled to the scene.

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PA

Image caption

The steelworks is the largest in the UK and employs more than 4,000 people.

A Tata Steel spokesman said the company was working with emergency services.

He said: “We can confirm there has been an incident at our Port Talbot site.

“Emergency services have attended and are working with our on-site services.

“We will provide an update as soon as we know more.”

Tata had recently invested £50m in the plant to refit a blast furnace. It has pledged to invest £1bn over 10 years if market conditions allow.

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