A fire at the Tilbury coal-fired power station in England was put out within hours with no injuries, but the extent of the damage was unknown, plant operator RWE npower said.

The fire started at around 14.00 GMT, affecting one of the four electricity generating turbines in Essex, but was extinguished by 17.00 GMT, the company said.

The extent of the damage to the generation unit is unclear, a spokesman for the UK arm of German utility RWE told Reuters.

RWE npower said in a statement that all staff, contractors and visitors at the plant had been safely accounted for.

The 1,063MW power station was on routine maintenance work and was not producing any electricity when the fire broke out.