Large fire at Wales industrial estate after explosionon December 14, 2023 at 3:53 am

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The MP for the area said there were “walking wounded” after the fire at Treforest Industrial Estate.

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One person remains unaccounted for after a huge blaze at an industrial estate in Pontypridd, south Wales.

Police said there were no reports of serious injuries but the local MP said there were “walking wounded”.

Images on social media in the aftermath showed a building in flames and smoke at Treforest Industrial Estate.

At least one building was destroyed, and a “major incident” was declared for several hours following the “massive explosion” at 19:00 GMT.

The fire service said a two-storey building estate was “at risk of collapse” following the blast and fire.

Roads in the area remain closed.

Scene of fire in Treforest

Image source, Joseph Barker

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it “treated three patients at the scene before discharging them” on Wednesday evening.

South Wales Police said there no reports of serious injuries but “one person remains unaccounted for”.

The force said on Wednesday: “Residents living nearby are advised to close all doors and windows while this incident is continuing.

“Businesses in the area are requested to implement their own business continuity plans to deal with the on-going road closures.”

The fire is in a 60,000 sq ft (5,574 sq m) warehouse called Rizla House which houses 13 commercial units including a gym, a towel manufacturer, a food laboratory and a telecoms service company.

Krishnaraj Nadarajah said he heard a "massive explosion"

Image source, Krishnaraj Nadarajah

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board had put all its emergency departments on high alert for several hours, standing down late on Wednesday.

It also asked people to “continue to make appropriate use of urgent care services to ensure those that most need our care can receive it in a timely way”.

Alex Davies-Jones, MP for Pontypridd, said on Wednesday evening the fire service was “attempting to get the fire under control” and the “investigation is ongoing”.

“There have been a couple of walking wounded, but not more than that at the moment,” she said, adding: “We will know more in the morning.”

She said police were advising concerned family members to visit Talbot Green Police Station.

One nearby business owner said her tattoo shop “just exploded”.

Lucy Artiss, tattooist at Sixteen Circles, said she had “lost everything” but all of her colleagues made it out of the building unhurt.

“I feel numb, to be honest. Looks like I’ll need to find a new shop.”

Nearby Integer Telecom, a telecommunication provider, said in a Facebook post its building was destroyed in the explosion, adding: “All our staff are safe and unharmed and business will resume as normal.

Ambulances lining up on road by the scene of fire

The manager of a nearby Esso garage, Krishnaraj Nadarajah, said he contacted the fire service and shut off pumps at the station.

The 40-year-old described hearing a “massive explosion”.

He said: “It felt like it was an earthquake or something. We went outside and there was a fire starting to build up, it was a huge fire and smoke.”

“The noise was very loud, it was a big explosion.

“Some of the things fell down in the store, off the shelves.”

Mr Nadarajah called it “very scary”.

“Now the roads are closed and we can’t go outside,” he said.

Petwise Reptiles on Severn Road said it was “unaffected so far”.

“We have staff at the scene waiting to enter the store to check out all our pets as soon as it’s safe to do so,” it said on Facebook.

‘Big fireball in the sky’

Phill Jones from Llantrisant said he was driving along the A473 with his eight-year-old son at about 19:15 GMT when he saw “a really loud bang and a flash of light”.

“My first reaction was ‘Who is letting off fireworks on a Wednesday night?’,” he said.

“There was a big fireball up in the sky. I swerved the car a little bit and my son got quite animated.

“The way it went up, it was almost as if something had exploded.”

A fire burns from a building at Treforest Industrial Estate during the night

Image source, Valley Times

Dr Aeliya Zaidi said she was travelling home along the A4119 when traffic began “piling up” and she saw lots of fire engines and ambulances.

The 40-year-old said: “There was a huge, huge fire – it looked very, very dramatic like the ones you see in the movies.

“There were lots of people on the roads making videos and taking photos.”

Dr Zaidi, who works at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, added: “Being a doctor, I was just thinking if any human lives are involved.

“Any other thing can be managed but of course if there’s anybody inside they’re somebody’s relative and their life is important.”

The owner of nearby Green Rooms, Jonny Foxhall, said the music venue’s front door was flung open.

“We could see a smoke cloud and an orange glow from above the treeline quickly followed by flames,” the 36-year-old said.

“To feel the shockwave from the explosion is something I’ve never experienced before.”

In an update at 01:30 GMT police said the following roads remain closed:

  • Tonteg Road between the Upper Boat and Power Station Hill roundabouts
  • Severn Road
  • Taffs Mead Road
  • Taffs Fall Road
  • Bridge Road
  • Ford Road
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