Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Andover Ocado depot fire disrupts shopping deliveries

Image caption No injuries have been reported and the blaze is ongoing, the fire service said

Online shopping deliveries have been disrupted by a fire at an Ocado robot-run grocery delivery warehouse.

The blaze broke out at the grocery giant's high-tech depot on the Walworth Industrial Estate, Andover, shortly before 02:45 GMT.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said it involved automated packaging machinery.

No injuries have been reported and the blaze is ongoing, the fire service added.

Ocado said operations at the site had been suspended and orders were not being sent out.

It has other warehouses, including in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, which have been unaffected.

Customers complained on Twitter about cancelled deliveries with the company blaming "some operational issues".

More than 30,000 orders are processed at the warehouse each week.

Image copyright BBC / Zoe Kleinman
Image caption Grocery orders are assembled at the warehouse by robots

A fire service spokesman said relief crews, who had taken over from the first firefighters on the scene, were still battling the fire.

In a statement, Ocado said: "All relevant safety measures were carried out as planned and no-one suffered injury.

"Although some orders had already left the warehouse before the incident and will be delivered as normal, Andover suspended operation this morning preventing further fulfilment of orders.

"We will assess the damage this incident has caused... and will update further as appropriate."

The fire came on the same day Ocado reported widening losses.

The company recorded a pre-tax loss of £44.4m for the year ending 2 December 2018, compared with £9.8m in the previous 12 months.

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