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Smurfit Kappa fire

UPDATE  11:555am   20/4/13

West Midlands Police have just advised that the Roads in the area have now been reopened.

West Midlands Fire Service are still on site.

UPDATE  8:45am   20/4/13

West Midlands Fire Service have continued to work hard overnight, supported in the area by West Midlands Police. Although the fire is contained it continues to require damping down. Our clean up of the area went well yesterday and again this morning. Roads in the area remain closed and updates will be provided when plans are confirmed.

UPDATE  1715hrs    19/4/13

Conditions at the site continue to improve. Although no ash is currently drifting, there is still smoke coming from the scene.

Local roads will remain closed for the rest of the day for safety reasons. The traffic restrictions are being well reported by the media

Birmingham City Council have now been allowed to arrange the cleansing of the  A47, and the area is looking alot better. Further work will still need to be undertaken in the early hours to complete the cleansing programme.


UPDATE  1345hrs    19/4/13

The West Midlands Fire Service produced the following update this morning.

Fire crews continued to work hard on site through the night. They have managed to reduce the extent of cardboard on fire, but there is still a substantial amount burning and smouldering.

Around 45 firefighters remain on scene. Their work involves breaking into bales of paper and board, but this allows oxygen into the heart of the bales and leads to flare-ups. Safety of the firefighters is paramount, so it’s a very carefully considered process.

Fortunately the wind speed has now dropped, making conditions at the scene less challenging.

We’re working very closely with the company, and are grateful for their continuing support. They are helping to remove and recycle ashes and wet cardboard.

One digger is now able to work on part of the site to assist the operation, and this will be scaled up when safe to do so.

Local businesses are now being allowed access to their premises following liaison with us, but only on foot. This is because of the large amount of large-diameter fire hoses which are lying along and across roads in the immediate vicinity to the fire, and the continued arrival and movement of fire engines and other vehicles and equipment.

Nearby roads are expected to remain closed for the time being, and we again thank local residents, businesses and motorists for their patience and understanding. The closures are mainly because of smoke and ash blowing across the roads and the obvious safety risks to drivers.

The latest estimate is that we expect to be on site into the weekend – at least for another 48 hours.

At approximately 1300hrs the West Midlands Fire Service gave permission to Birmingham City Council to commence cleaning of the highways and footways, it is likely that this work will continue tomorrow as well.


UPDATE  06015hrs    19/4/13

West Midlands Fire Service were still dousing the fire with water throughout the night, 11 fire appliances and crewes, with a number of senior officers remained on site over night. The following Road Closues will remain in place throughout the day. The public are advised to allow longer for their journeys; check public transport websites and listen to local radio news updates; use alternative routes if possible.

Heartlands Parkway at Saltley viaduct

Nechells Parkway at Ashtead Circus

Holborn Hill at Longacre

Aston Church Road at Heartlands Parkway

Mount Street at Needham Street

The public are advised to allow longer

Further fire fighting plans will be developed to day and updated information will be provided by West Midlands Fire Service later this morning.

UPDATE  1928hrs    18/4/13

West Midlands Fire Service have continued to work with multi-agency partners throughout the day.  Although the Fire has been contained it will take some time to damp down. In order to do this some of the material will need to be removed so that damping down can take place deeper into the material. 

To ensure complete safety Roads in the area will remain closed in the morning as well, so advice to the  public is to choose alternative routes or allow more time for your journey.  Access for residents in the area is being fully faciliated.

West Midlands Fire Sevice , West Midlands Police and the City Council have spoken to residents in the area throughout the day. Full risk assessments have been carried out during the day and agencies are satisfied that there are no likely further impacts. Public Health England confirmed that they are not aware of any people experiencing ill effects from the fire at this time and offer the following generic advice.

‘Smoke from any source may contain substances that irritate the lining of air passages, eyes and skin; making the eyes and throat sore and possibly worsening any breathing or heart conditions.   Respiratory symptoms may include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum (phlegm) production and chest pain. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be particularly susceptible to the smoke and should carry and use their medication (such as inhalers) as usual.   People should do all they can to stay out of the smoke. If residents are affected by smoke, they should stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed. Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should also keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed’

Anyone affected by the smoke or concerned about its impact on their health should call NHS Direct 0845 4647 / NHS 111.

A clean up of the Highway will commence by Birmingham City Council once the  West Midlands Fire Service give the go ahead.


UPDATE 1300hrs 18/4/13

West Midlands Fire Service remain on scene with multi-agency partners. Road closures as detailed below remain in place, and this is likely to continue throughout the day.


West Midlands Fire Service are continuing to deal with a fire at the Smurfit Kappa paper mill in Mount Street, Birmingham.  We are advised that over 100 firefighters are in attendance. The fire has I affected about 7 of the 22 acre site. No casualties or fatalities have been reported at this stage. The crews are reported to be making good progress. The police have put several road restrictions in place around the Mount Street area:

Heartlands Parkway at Saltley viaduct

Nechells Parkway at Ashtead Circus

Holborn Hill at Longacre

Aston Church Road at Heartlands Parkway

Mount Street at Needham Street

The public are advised to allow longer for their journeys; check public transport websites and listen to local radio news updates. 

Click on an icon for more information. This map was last updated at 14:04 6/11/2013. This map is provided for illustrative purposes only. See more

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