Asbestos and oil spill hamper firefighters after explosion at electrical substation

Residents were evacuated as Somerset fire crews battled a blaze at an electrical sub station. Firefighters efforts were hampered by asbestos and hundreds of liters of leaked oil at the site.

Firefighters were forced to deploy breathing equipment and thermal imaging to fight the fire.

Fire crews from Burnham on Sea and Taunton were mobilised following reports of an explosion involving an 11kv transformer at an electrical substation on Lower Bath Road, Bridgwater at 12.30 today.

The crew arrived on the scene and turned two jets on the fire. Fire crews worked side by side with staff from western power to suppress the fire which was burning inside an electrical substation measuring six metres by six metres.

Two additional crews with Co2 fire extinguishers and a water carrier had to join the fight as police evacuated nearby buildings.

Asbestos management

You must manage asbestos, if present, if any non-domestic building built or refurbished before 2000.

Half an hour into their ordeal fire fighters confirmed that asbesdos was involved in the incident and re the environment porotection unit and appliance from Taunton were mobilised.

At 1.21pm it was reported that approximately 400 – 500 litres of oil had leaked from the transformer.

By 2.15pm fire crews were dampening down the last of the flames, while they tried to prevent the leaked insulation oil from entering the drains. The environmental protection unit set up for decontamination of the asbestos.

Reports from the fire service say the fire caused 100% damage to the transformer and 40% damage to the building. To get the blazer under control crews were forced to use breathing apparatus, compressed air foam, water jets, a thermal imaging camera and cutting equipment.

Source: Somerset Live

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