Ocado warehouse fire: Homes evacuated amid 'explosion risk'

Galtero Lara
Febrero 10, 2019

A devastating blaze at British online supermarket Ocado's OCDO.L flagship packing and distribution complex in southern England has been extinguished, but firefighters will remain at the site for now.

The removal of the refrigerants has been completed, while local residents and workers are now also able to access the area.

A spokesperson told TWinFM: "Since our last update, the Fire Brigade has continued to work to bring the fire at Andover under control".

"Ocado has been working closely with the emergency services and other organisations".

According to the spokesperson, there has been substantial damage to the Andover building and its contents.

Ocado said in a statement today: "As Andover was providing approximately 10% of our current capacity, as a result of this incident there will be a constraint on our ability to meet growing customer demand and there will be a reduction in sales growth until we can increase capacity elsewhere".

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Four firefighters were treated for minor smoke inhalation, but no Ocado staff were injured. Around 200 firefighters have remained on site at a time, with services from surrounding counties having to assist.

Homes have been evacuated because of the risk of a toxic cloud or large cylinder explosion at a large fire sweeping through an Ocado warehouse.

About 100 residents were moved on Wednesday night and a 500m exclusion zone set up after the blaze unexpectedly escalated late that afternoon.

More than £1 billion has been wiped off the value of Ocado after a fire savaged its warehouse in Hampshire on Tuesday night.

Group Manager Cooper added: "Our teams, and colleagues from Oxfordshire, Dorset & Wiltshire, Royal Berkshire and Hertfordshire have shown commitment and professionalism in dealing with a complex operation in incredibly challenging circumstances". At this time, it is suspected that the fire originated in the automated packaging department - 30,000 orders were prepped each week nearly entirely by robots.

One of Ocado Group Plc's largest United Kingdom warehouses is expected to be completely destroyed by a fire, constraining the online grocer's ability to meet customer demand and cutting sales growth.

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