A massive fire broke out today at Indian steel giant Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant in the UK after it was struck by lightning.
Initial investigations have suggested that the blaze, which started in the plant’s coke oven, may have been triggered by a lightning strike.
“We can confirm that there has been a fire at our Port Talbot coke ovens this morning. No one was hurt. Following the necessary safety and operational checks, we will be looking to restart manufacturing operations today. Initial investigations suggest a lightning strike led to the fire at the site’s coke ovens,” a company spokesperson said.
The Mid and West Wales Fire Service said it was alerted shortly after 8am GMT on Thursday to reports of the blaze and six crews were dispatched.
Online footage showed flames tearing through the plant and vast plumes of smoke billow into the sky.
“We understand it is a contained fire on site. We are waiting for an update from the fire service, which has primary control. We have not been called in, but are on site as we have had a number of calls about it,” a South Wales Police spokesperson said.
The fire comes just weeks after the Indian steel giant had announced 750 job cuts at the Welsh site as part of a Europe-wide crisis in the steel industry.
“My thoughts are with the workers. They do a fantastic job and it has not been an easy time for the steel industry in recent months,” said local MP Stephen Kinnock.