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HSE to investigate Slough rubber blast

02 December 2008

Two Health and Safety Executive inspectors have been deployed to Duco International’s premises in Slough to investigate the causes of the serious explosion, which the premises suffered during the morning of Monday 1st December. A third inspector, described by an HSE spokeswoman as a specialist, will augment the team on Wednesday.

Slough, Berkshire
Slough, Berkshire

The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) responded very rapidly to deal with the fire that followed the 10:00am blast. An RBFRS spokeswoman stated that six appliances and 30 fire-fighters had been in attendance at one stage and that the fire was isolated by 10:21am. No chemical storage facilities were involved in the fire, which occurred in a processing compound at the Eastbourne Road plant.

Most of the plant’s employees were involved in a training meeting in an area away from the explosion so escaped injury, although one person is reported as being hurt by flying glass.

The blast was heard in Windsor, some six miles away. Various metal panels were blown off the building into the adjacent road and what has been reported as an oxygen tank was hurled out of the building by the force of the blast. Some neighbouring buildings sustained damage as windows were blown out by the explosion.

Duco International manufactures the rubber blankets used in the offset printing process. Production at the site has been temporarily suspended.

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