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31 October 2014, 10:07
A man has been arrested after a fireworks factory fire in Stafford. A search is under way for two missing people thought to be trapped.
Police investigating the explosion at SP Plastics, which occurred at 5.15pm on Thursday 30 October 2014, can now confirm that two people remain unaccounted for. Police are unable to give any further details about those involved at this point, whilst the investigation progresses. The family members of those unaccounted for are being fully supported by family liaison officers.
Throughout the night detectives have been working to establish who was in and around the industrial unit at the time of the explosion. This work has meant a number of people have been traced and they have been talking to officers about the incident.
This morning the focus of the joint police and fire investigation will be to recover any potential evidence from the wider scene and assess the safety of the remaining structure in order to progress the search and investigation.
Tilcon Avenue will remain closed and cordoned off whilst the investigation continues and all the businesses accessed via Tilcon Avenue will remain closed and sealed off whilst this takes place. Officers are hoping to reopen access to the business premises in the area as soon and possible so drivers can remove their vehicles and to allow the businesses to return to normal.
Supt Ian Coxhead, from Staffordshire Police, said: “We have a great deal of sensitive and challenging work to complete in order to allow us to establish the cause of the explosion and following fire. We understand the unit was storing a significant volume of fireworks which appear to have been completely destroyed during the blaze last night. This makes the ongoing examination of the scene particularly challenging and we expect to be at the scene for some time. We can confirm a 53-year-old male has been arrested in connection with the incident.
“One of people taken to hospital last night is in a poorly condition, whilst the second is stable after receiving treatment.
"We fully appreciate the impact this investigation is having on the local businesses and community and I want to thank them for their support in the last few hours. Our local neighbourhood police officers will remain at the scene throughout and I urge anyone with any information which could help police and fire establish the cause to call Staffordshire Police on 101.”
Baswich Lane has reopened to traffic, however we do urge people to avoid the area if possible as there will continue to be delays whilst emergency services continue to investigate the incident.