Man airlifted to hospital after Peterborough fireworks factory explosion

One man has been airlifted to hospital following the explosion at a fireworks factory in Peterborough this morning.

Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 2:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 4:49 pm

The explosion happened at 11am today (Tuesday) at the Le Maitre factory in Fourth Drove, Fengate.

The cause of the explosion has not been confirmed, but a spokesman for the East of England Ambulance said: “One patient has been taken to hospital by air ambulance with severe burns.”

The bomb disposal team from RAF Wittering has also been called to attend the factory.

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An RAF Bomb Disposal team at Le Maitre pyrotchenics in Peterborough, where a man suffered severe burns after an explosion. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 2, 2018. See PA story POLICE Fireworks. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire POLICE_Fireworks_152047.JPG

A spokesman said: “The 5131 Bomb Disposal team have been called to Fourth Drove.

“Their role is to make the scene safe while police and the Health and Safety Executive carry out their investigations.”

Emergency services remain on the scene this afternoon.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue service said: “Firefighters arrived to find a fire in an industrial unit, with smoke issuing from roof, following an explosion. Wearing breathing apparatus they extinguished the fire using a hose reel.

Emergency services arrive at the scene

“The building was evacuated when crews arrived at the scene. Two casualties required treatment at the scene for burns and were left in the care of ambulance crews.

“The crews returned to their stations by 1.15pm.

“A multi-agency investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the fire.”

The cause of the explosion has not been identified, but police said it was not suspicious.

Emergency services arrive at the scene

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said; “HSE is aware and making initial enquiries with the emergency services.”

A worker was killed in a previous incident at Le Maitre in 1990.

Michael Darroch, 27, was packing a giant firework with a mixture of gunpowder and titanium when it blew up, killing him instantly.

The company admitted at Peterborough Crown Court to failing to ensure the safety of an employee and was fined £15,000.

Police at the scene at Le Maitre pyrotchenics in Peterborough, where a man suffered severe burns after an explosion. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 2, 2018. See PA story POLICE Fireworks. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire POLICE_Fireworks_152085.JPG

The court was told Le Maitre had been fined £2,000 after a separate accident in 1988, in which another employee died while fitting fuses to display fireworks.

The Peterborough Telegraph has contacted Le Maitre for comment about today’s incident.

Debris on the ground at Le Maitre pyrotchenics in Peterborough, where a man suffered severe burns after an explosion. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 2, 2018. See PA story POLICE Fireworks. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire POLICE_Fireworks_152029.JPG
Le Maitre pyrotchenics in Peterborough, where a man suffered severe burns after an explosion. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 2, 2018. See PA story POLICE Fireworks. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire POLICE_Fireworks_152063.JPG
Damage to a building at Le Maitre pyrotchenics in Peterborough, where a man suffered severe burns after an explosion. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 2, 2018. See PA story POLICE Fireworks. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire POLICE_Fireworks_152008.JPG