Rainham waste blaze spreads to 2,500 tonnes of recycling
18:43 05 August 2014
A fire in a Rainham waste plant has spread to 2,500 tonnes of recycling and more than 80 firefighters are still tackling the blaze that started 30 hours ago.
Crews from all over London have been drafted in to give relief to local teams.
Firefighters were called at 9.27am yesterday to the Shanks waste recycling plant in Creek Way, Rainham, and residents were warned to steer clear of the area.
Station manager Laurie Kenny, said: “Crews are working hard and have prevented the fire from spreading to any neighbouring buildings.
“As the recycling plant is on an industrial estate, there are no nearby houses but there is a lot of smoke which is drifting quite a distance and can be seen for miles. If you live locally, shut your windows and doors.”
Crews were initially trying to extinguish around 100 tonnes of household waste but this has since spread to the recycling materials.
To tackle the fire, 12 engines and the mass of firefighters have travelled from as far as Chelsea, Wembley and Hammersmith.
The blaze has caused substantial damage to the building and a crane collapsed into it as a result.
Thames Road, in Barking, has been closed while the incident is ongoing. It is closed in both directions between the River Road junction and Renwick Road. Bus route 387 is also being diverted.
James Green, 37, of Rainham, witnessed the extent of the smoke coming from the fire and described its stench as “rancid”.
“I work on the industrial estate near by and all you can see is smoke,” he said.
“It’s probably about 100 feet high and it smell is unbelievably horrible. The stench is rancid.”