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Calor apologises after fire scare on Canvey
11:00am Wednesday 5th May 2010 in News
THE owners of a Canvey gas terminal have apologised to neighbours following a fire scare at the site.
Panicked families living metres from Calor’s base in Thames Road phoned the fire brigade and police on Sunday night, when they spotted 30-foot flames shooting up from the site.
It proved to be a false alarm as the fire was coming from Calor’s flare stack, a safety mechanism to relieve pressure in the gas storage tanks.
Paul Blacklock, Calor’s head of communications, admitted the company should have alerted the emergency services, which had not been warned the flaring was to take place.
He said: “It was a bank holiday weekend, and we needed to use the flare and I think the site was overly focussed on the operational side.
“I think in the future we need to come up with a system so at the very least the authorities know what is going on.
“We apologise to any residents who were frightened by the incident.”
It was the first time a flare had been used at the site for about two years.
Mr Blacklock added: “The pressure gauges at the tanks were unusually high, so we had to reduce the pressure.
“It’s common practice at places like Coryton oil refinery, but because its rare at our site I can understand why people were shocked.”
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