20 injured after UK waste power plant explodes

Runcorn CHP

An explosion occurred at the new Runcorn Thermal Power Plant in the north of England, injuring 20 people.

Investigations are under way as to the cause of the accident on Tuesday, with some employess thought to have come into contact with calcium hydroxide as a result of the blast.

Just last week COSPP covered the switching on of the $752m new plant, which is set to generate up to 70 MW of electricity and 51 MW of heat.
Some 20 workers were taken to Warrington Hospital’s accident and emergency department, according to the Liverpool Echo. There, they were treated for breathing problems and eye irritation.

Viridor, the company that owns the plant, confirmed the explosion to local press, telling the Warrington Guardian that there had been a “spillage of Air Pollution Control Residue (mainly hydrated lime)” at the plant.

“The spillage occurred during the current commissioning phase of the plant by Keppel Seghers, the managing contractor on the site,” a Viridor spokesperson said.

The hospital’s accident and emergency department was forced to close its doors to the public in case of contamination.

“Warrington Hospital A&E is currently dealing with a major internal incident following a small chemical explosion at a plant in Runcorn this afternoon,” a spokesman for Warrington Hospital told local paper Runcorn and Widnes World.

The newly-commissioned Runcorn Thermal Power Station, located just east of Liverpool in the north of England, is managed by Keppel Seghers. It is the largest waste-to-energy plant of its type in Europe.

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