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Night workers evacuated from city factory.

ABOUT 20 workers on the night shift were evacuated after a fire broke out at a chemical factory in Cov-entry, triggering a major turnout from fire crews.

Forty firefighters spent five hours at Acordis Acetate, in Old Church Road, Foleshill, after the alarm was raised just before 11pm on Saturday.

A blaze had broken out in a spinning machine that makes yarn for cigarette filter tips and spread to other parts of the building inside metal pipes.

Eight engines, a hydraulic platform and a foam unit attended the scene. The all-clear was finally given at about 4am yesterday.

Sub-officer Bob Mount, from Foleshill fire station, said the blaze was contained within the pipes, but added: "When you have got a fire in a chemical factory, the possibility of that escalating into a very serious incident is much greater, which is why there were so many crews there."

He said: "The factory's sprinkler system had put out the original fire but there was still all this smoke and burning smell.

"We didn't know where it was coming from at first but then discovered, using a thermal imaging camera, that the flames had travelled 200metres away from the seat of the fire, along some ducting."

Paul Newing, human resources director at Acordis, said production would not be resumed until an investigation was completed. Staff would be given other duties.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 25, 2002
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