FIVE workers had to be taken to hospital with severe burns after they were scalded by steam in a pet food factory.
FIVE workers had to be taken to hospital with severe burns after they were scalded by steam in a pet food factory.The drama began at the Nestle Purina Petcare factory, in Cromwell Road, Wisbech, following reports of an explosion.
It is believed the workers were burned by jets of steam at about mid-day on Friday.
The factory, which employs about 450 people. was immediately evacuated and shut down before emergency services rushed to the scene.
An air ambulance took one middle-aged man to the Norfolk and Norwich hospital, in Norwich, with severe facial burns.
A further four employees were taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth hospital, in King's Lynn. Two were reported to have internal burns due to inhalation.
One of the victims was transferred to a specialist burns hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.
Cambridgeshire fire spokeswoman Hayley Buzzell said two fire crews from Wisbech were called to the scene following reports of a fire, but it was soon discovered the incident just involved steam burns.
She added: "The fire crews, who are trained first aiders stayed to help the injured men who had suffered severe scalding to their arms, faces and necks.
"Some of the victims were put under a shower to cool the wounds, while others were treated with ice packs and cling film while ambulances made their way to the scene."
Firefighter Rob Wabes, a trained trauma medic who attended the scene, reported that the injuries were very serious burns and fire crews stayed for more than an hour.
Nobody from the factory was available for comment.