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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Lucky escape after explosion at Border Fine Arts factory

An explosion rocked the Border Fine Arts factory in Langholm.

Workers at the factory, which makes figurines, were on their morning break yesterday when the blast, thought to have been caused by a gas leak, hit the plant in Townfoot.

Firefighters were called to the explosion just after 10.30am and evacuated the building.

People nearby reported hearing a loud bang and seeing thick black smoke pouring from the building.

Colin Wallace, fire station manager at Annan, said the cause of the explosion was unknown at this stage but it was thought to involve gas.

He said the fire service was working with the Health & Safety Executive to try to establish what had happened.

He said: “The explosion caused some damage to the building but it was localised and no one was inside at the time. There had been some small pockets of fire but these were extinguished by the fire warden before we arrived.

“The gas and electricity supplies were all isolated on our arrival by the team using breathing apparatus.

Langholm community officer PC Alistair Mitchell said: “It is fortunate that all members of staff were on their morning break and were not in the area so no one was hurt. If they had been inside, it would have been worse.

“There seems to have been a build-up of fumes which caused the explosion and there has been damage to the building. The roof is off and the windows blown out.”

“The fire service is checking there is no further chance of an explosion and removing anything hanging down to make the site safe.”

No one from Enesco, of which BFA is a part, was available for comment.

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