Monday, October 24, 2016

Liverpool's Seaforth Docks Hit by Massive Fire

Blaze Continues to Rage into Fourth Day
Shipping News Feature
UK – The Port of Liverpool has suffered a major fire that started on Friday night and is still burning as of midday Monday October 24. The fire started at a scrap metal facility in the Seaforth docks and initially caused concern amongst firefighters and residents about the possibility of toxic smoke billowing from the scene and presenting a threat to health. Local people were advised to stay in their homes and keep windows and doors closed however the fire service has now stressed it no longer considers the fire to present a major hazard to health

The fire started late on Friday night or in the small hours of Saturday at the recycling facility managed by European Metal Recycling (EMR) and firefighters are continuing to fight the blaze which they say is likely to burn for some days yet. The conflagration has been big enough for smoke to be seen ten miles away and to be blown right across the river Mersey into the Wirral. Operations at the port however have been able to proceed as scheduled and cargo handling is being maintained without disruption. So far there is no indication as to what started the fire.

Seaforth is owned by the Peel Port Group which took over the Mersey Dock and Harbour Company in 2005 and which manages the port. Peel Ports is currently investing heavily in new container handling facilities at Seaforth ll nearby, as detailed in our story last week. A statement from the company said:

”We can confirm there was a fire at the EMR site along Langton Avenue at the Port of Liverpool. The fire started in the early hours of Saturday October 22. The cause of the fire at this stage is unknown and under investigation by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS). Peel Ports and the Statutory Port Authority will continue to facilitate and provide access to the site, liaising with the appropriate authorities, notably MFRS, Public Health England (PHE) Sefton Council, the Environment Agency (EA) and the tenant, EMR.”