Dozen fire appliances tackling major West Lothian blaze


By Shaun Milne

ALMOST 80 fire-fighters were today tackling a massive toxic blaze in West Lothian causing fire chiefs to warn residents to stay inside and close all their windows.

The fire broke out at a packaging plant in Brucefield Industrial Estate near Livingston sending huge plumes of thick, black smoke into the air which could be seen for miles around.

Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service reported having some nine fire crews at the scene assisted by an additional three height appliances.

An incident support unit and senior officers were on scene while one person, thought to have been an employee – was taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston suffering from reported burns to his arms.

They were understood to work for the sites owners, Amcor Flexibles Limited, but there was no further information available about their condition.

The huge cloud of smoke also affected rail travel at a time when lines were already busy because of the Pope’s visit to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

A ScotRail spokesman said of the line closure: “We plan to keep disruption to a minimum while the line is closed.

“Trains will run between Glasgow and Shotts and between Edinburgh and Kirknewton.

“There will be replacement buses between Shotts and Kirknewton.”

Firefighters were still tackling the blaze yesterday afternoon.

It was believed trying to determine the time and cause of the fire was made problematic because of the amount of chemicals involved.

Amcor said they had no comment to make.

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