OPERATIONS at the Bellozanne plant returned to normal today following the fire and evacuation of the area yesterday.
An oxyacetylene welding unit caught fire as a worker was using it and, with the risk of an explosion, about 150 workers hurried to assembly points to escape danger. Eight homes in the valley were also cleared of 20 residents after the alarm was raised.
A 200-metre exclusion zone was set up around the burning acetylene canister, which was at the base of the incinerator. Roads were shut and vehicles turned away. Operations at Bellozanne returned to normal at around 11 am today.
An experienced welder employed by Transport was using the welding unit when it caught alight. Director of waste management John Rogers said that the man was about to cut steel when he turned on the unit — but it flashed back and flames started coming out. The welder was part of a team in the course of making repairs to the energy-from-waste plant.