A large explosion rocked Aycliffe Industrial Estate Friday afternoon.
The explosion occurred at the Stiller Warehousing And Distribution centre, Ridgeway, Newton Aycliffe, where 7,500 aerosol canisters were stored .
People working on the site were evacuated and it is believed that no one has been seriously injured.
An eye witness, Dave Henderson, said “We are in Baltic House about 400 meters from the explosion, it looked like a giant fireball, if the wind changes we will have to evacuate the building”.
Police warned people to stay inside and close all windows and doors. Smoke and flames from the factory could be seen from the A1 motorway.
Woodham School pupils were warned not to go out, and a large police cordon was placed around the scene. Horndale Avenue is closed in all directions between Northfield Way, Pease Way and Greenfield Way.
Northern Rail suspended its train service through Newton Aycliffe.
Presenter Peter Quest explained he could see thick, black smoke rising high into the sky, and that at least eight fire appliances were at the scene.
Dave Henderson, a listener working in Newton Aycliffe, later said “The thick black smoke contained flashes of flames and was twice as thick when it started.” Explosions could be heard from within the building.
Oak Leaf Sports Centre Bonfire night cancelled
The bonfire night event planned at the Oak Leaf Sports Centre in Newton Aycliffe was also been cancelled. Due to its proximity to the ongoing incident it will now not take place – but other celebrations remain unaffected. Fire crew are expected to spend most of the evening bringing the blaze at the Stiller distribution centre under control.