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Dartford and Bexleyheath houses 'shake' during chemical explosion
HOUSES shook in Dartford and Bexleyheath following an explosion at a chemical plant in Essex.
Two men were injured following the incident shortly after 8pm last night at Industrial Chemical Ltd in West Thurrock, which saw firefighters spend more than two hours assessing a leak of caustic soda.
It is thought the explosion came from within a chlorine scrubbing unit.
Dartford residents reported being able to smell chlorine last night, whilst Essex Police advised residents living nearby to stay inside and close their doors and windows.
One homeowner wrote on Twitter: “In east Dartford heard a loud bang, talking to a mate in Park Road on the phone, her house actually shook.”
Another said: “Wow house and windows just shook, what's happened in Dartford?”
At 10pm, Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: "We have had assurances from chemical experts on site that there is no risk to the public.
"A small tank of diluted caustic soda exploded and the contents drained away into an interception tank and was contained on site."
Two workers suffered minor injuries.
One, who had a leg injury, did not require ambulance treatment but the East of England Ambulance Service said one person was treated at the scene.
Just after 10pm, police and fire crews declared the site safe and announced there was no risk to the public.
At 9.30pm, a spokesman for Essex Police said on the force’s Twitter feed: “Explosion caused loud bang at chemical plant in Stoneness Road West Thurrock about one hour ago. Strong chlorine smell in area.”
Industrial Chemicals Ltd supply water treatment chemicals, flocculants and detergents to a variety of industries across the UK and Europe.
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