Glasgow & West Scotland

Blast prevented in van containing acetylene cylinders

Buildings were evacuated and an exclusion zone set up in North Lanarkshire over fears that a van containing chemicals may explode.

The van, which was carrying acetylene cylinders, caught fire on Forest Road, Cumbernauld, just before 12:00.

Firefighters were told the van was carrying oxy-acetylene - chemicals highly volatile in heat or flame.

They used thermal imaging equipment to assess the danger before reducing the exclusion zone after hosing the van.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said: "We have a well-rehearsed procedure for dealing with incidents involving acetylene.

"Our crews reacted immediately to ensure the safety of the public and minimise the chance of the cylinders exploding.

"Our first priority was to set up cordons a safe distance from the incident, shut down the roads and get people out of the surrounding buildings.

"Firefighters are still on the scene and will remain there until specialists from the company owning the cylinders are able to safely remove them."

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