HUNDREDS of tonnes of scrap metal went up in flames in Basildon.

Firefighters were called to the recycling plant at Hovefield Avenue at 1.21am with the flames ten metres high.

Crews used an aerial ladder to fight the blaze, which affected almost half of 300 tonnes of scrap metal.

A digger was eventually brought onto the site at 5.17am to move the scrap metal and reach any remaining hot spots.

The fire was not put out until just 6.40am.

An investigation has been launched by the fire service and Essex Police to find the cause of the blaze.