South West Wales

Swansea tyre fire fight expected to cost millions

The final bill for fighting a fire at a factory in Swansea that was used to store shredded tyres is expected to run into millions of pounds.

Disposing of the waste alone will cost around £800,000.

The fire at the former Mettoys factory in Fforestfach has been burning for over a week and will not be fully extinguished until next month.

Firefighters have had to bring in specialist equipment from around the UK to deal with the incident.

Eight thousand tonnes of shredded tyre waste is alight.

Large holes have been cut in the factory's walls. Heavy machinery is being used to drag burning material out in small sections.

It is then submerged and broken up to make sure the fire is fully extinguished.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said there had been a minimum of two crews at the fire since it started at 1305 BST on 16 June.

Chris Margetts, head of operational risks with the service, told BBC Radio Wales: "This is an extremely complex incident.

"We've had to to order specialist equipment from all round the UK in order for us to contain the hazardous material.

"It needs to be put into sealed containers and taken to a dedicated licensed waste disposal site of which there is only a handful in the country."

He said every effort was being made to extinguish the fire as quickly as possible.

"We've knocked the fire right back to a big smouldering mass and we are containing that as it is.

"We realise it is emitting a smoke plume that is causing a nuisance to the neighbours. The problem is if we apply water to the surface it creates a water proof crust and the material carries on burning underneath."

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