Enforcement notice issued against bio-fuel company just months before second major incident at plant near Peterborough

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A bio-fuel plant suffered a second major incident just a few months after an enforcement notice was issued against it.

Three people were injured after a chemical spillage, said to be of sulphuric acid, occurred at the Pure Fuels plant in Old Great North Road, Stibbington, on Wednesday evening last week, with an air ambulance called to the scene.

The Pure Fuels plant in Stibbington the day after the chemical incident. Photo: Terry Harris

The Pure Fuels plant in Stibbington the day after the chemical incident. Photo: Terry Harris

The company had previously been issued an enforcement notice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an explosion in November which left two people injured.

The HSE had demanded action be taken after Pure Fuels “failed to assess the risks to your employees and others not in your employment from the processing of bio diesel and glycerine and other flammable substances on your site, which could result in the production of a flammable atmosphere and explosion.”

Pure Fuels had fully complied with the notice by the end of January.

The HSE is now investigating this latest incident.

A Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said: “We were called by the fire service at about 6pm with reports of a chemical spillage at Pure Fuels Ltd.

“All three emergency services attended. There are believed to be three casualties. The extent of the injuries is not known. The investigation has been passed to the Health and Safety Executive.”

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Four ambulances attended reports of a spillage of sulphuric acid next to Nene Valley Railway, Wansford Station, Old Great North Road, Stibbington. We treated a patient at the scene for burns and transported them to Peterborough City Hospital.”

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Crews from Stanground, Dogsthorpe, Yaxley, St Neots and the north roaming fire engine attended the scene.

“Firefighters arrived to find an incident involving a small amount of chemical. They worked with paramedics to provide emergency first aid to a male casualty, who was taken to hospital by ambulance. They made the area safe.”

The process for bio-fuel production turns used cooking oils into other fuels which can be used to power lorries and cars as well as generate electricity.

The Peterborough Telegraph attempted to contact Pure Fuels but had not received a response at the time of going to press.