'Major incident' as explosion and fire hit Redcar steelworks

19 September 2019, 17:21 | Updated: 19 September 2019, 21:08

Fire crews and a hazardous area team have been sent to an explosion and fire at a former steelworks site in Redcar, which has been declared a "major incident".

Cleveland Police said on Thursday evening that the cordon had been extended from 150m to 250m.

A statement said: "The fire is ongoing; however, it is contained and officers and Fire Brigade colleagues will remain on the scene overnight to continually monitor the situation."

"There are no residential addresses in the cordoned area and there is no danger to members of the public," police added.

They said earlier that two people had been hurt but they could not confirm the level of their injuries.

A spokesperson for the Ambulance Service said they were called to the former SSI site at 2.10pm.

"Six resources have been dispatched to the scene including our hazardous area response teams," said the spokesperson.

Witness John Coates told Teesside Live he was driving past when he heard a "loud crash and booming" noise.

"It sounded like something had come crashing down, like lightning," he said.

"I walked towards the compound to see what was happening and large plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from one of the chimneys."

Thousands of jobs were lost when the steelworks, just to the east of Middlesbrough, closed in October 2015.