UK Tilbury power station fire probe underway

27 February 2012 (Last Updated February 27th, 2012 18:30)

Investigations are currently underway to probe the cause of fire at RWE nPower's 1,400MW Tilbury Power Station in Essex, the UK, which broke out yesterday morning.

Investigations are currently underway to probe the cause of fire at RWE nPower's 1,400MW Tilbury Power Station in Essex, the UK, which broke out yesterday morning.

A total of 120 fire fighters were called to restrain the fire that began in the storage area at the top of a 200ft tower, which contained about 4,000 tonnes of wood pellets.

Three aerial ladder platforms and a foam attack unit have been tackling the fire, while all staff members were evacuated safely.

The Telegraph quoted Essex County Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer David Johnson as saying that the conditions insidethe plant were extremely hot, extremely smoky and very punishing.

The site, which was previously a coal-fired power station, has recently converted to generate energy from 100% sustainable biomass and provides about 1% of the electricity to the UK National Grid.

Tilbury power station power station manager Nigel Staves told the BBC that only the north end of the power station was affected.

"The bunkers are very strong, made of strong steelwork, designed to hold 1,000 tonnes of coal," said Staves.