Massive fire breaks out at Tilbury power station east of London

By Dorothy Davis 

A massive fire has broken out at the 1,131-megawatt, wood pellet-burning Tilbury power station located just east of London. Image courtesy of Press TV © Copyright 2012. All rights reserved A massive fire broke out early Monday morning at the 1,131-megawatt, wood pellet-burning Tilbury power station located just east of London. 

All staff was safely evacuated and no injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire is still unknown. 

More than 100 firefighters have been on the scene and going into the afternoon were able to get the blaze under control with the use of fire suppressing foam. 

Emergency operations have been challenging because of the location of the fire high up in the wood pellet hopper of the main building. Fears linger the fire could actually continue to burn and smolder for several days causing irreparable damage to the site. 

Tilbury began full operation in 1969 as a coal-fired power station, but was converted in early 2011 to 100 percent sustainable biomass. Tilbury is slated to cease all operations by the end of 2015. 

In a statement released by Tilbury owner RWE npower, the fire has resulted in damage to generation units at the station but there has no disruption of electricity to local homes and businesses.

“We will investigate the cause of the incident and the extent of the damage to the station but our priority in the meantime is to work with the emergency services on site,” RWE outlined on its website.

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