Updated: Underground fire at Hanson Cement in Ketton put out

Fire crews tackle an underground conveyor belt fire at the Hanson Cement plant in Ketton
Fire crews tackle an underground conveyor belt fire at the Hanson Cement plant in Ketton

3.15pm: AN UNDERGROUND fire at a cement works has been put out.

Fire crews were called to Hanson Cement in Ketton at about 11am this morning (Friday), after an underground conveyor belt caught fire.

A total of six crews attended and tackled the blaze underground wearing breathing apparatus. Once the power in the affected area was switched off, crews took just 30 minutes to put out the flames.

Plant manager Mark Cox said the fire had started when one of five conveyor belts stopped moving and the 100C ground limestone it was carrying, known as clinker, set the rubber conveyor belt alight.

Mr Cox added: “The hot clinker ignited a 10ft section of the belt. We phoned the fire brigade in line with our incident procedures and isolated a sealed area.

“We actually held a trial incident on site about five weeks ago so we were prepared and it went off like clockwork.”

Fire crews left the scene at about 3pm and the four remaining conveyers have since been restarted.

Mr Cox said production would not be affected as the damaged rubber belt could easily be replaced, but the plant would look into whether the clinker could be transported at a lower temperature.

No-one was injured in the fire.