Crews battle to avert big ‘explosion’

Fire and emergency services exercise involving a stricken petrol tanker and spilt chemicals. A tanker crashed into a van. The emergency services had to deal with both petrol and another substance leaking, with the potential for an explosion. The training took place at Birkenshaw Fire HQ. (d28021287)
Fire and emergency services exercise involving a stricken petrol tanker and spilt chemicals. A tanker crashed into a van. The emergency services had to deal with both petrol and another substance leaking, with the potential for an explosion. The training took place at Birkenshaw Fire HQ. (d28021287)
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FIRE crews worked against the clock to avoid an explosion after a petrol tanker and a van crashed in Birkenshaw on Tuesday.

The collision sent petrol and an unknown chemical spewing into the road – but thankfully homes did not need to be evacuated as it was all part of a drill by the emergency services.

The crews were scrambled to the fire headquarters for the exercise to see how they would cope with a real life emergency.

The collision in Exercise Tanker Down left the tanker and the van on their sides, spilling the potentially explosive mix, and specialist fire officers, who are trained to identify chemical substances, had to formulate an action plan.

Specialist decontamination fire crews from Dewsbury attended, as well as firefighters from Keighley, who are trained to deal with hazardous material and crews from Odsal and Morley provided foam for the incident.

The exercise was carried out in conjunction with bulk liquid transport company Hoyer.

Martin Speed, from the brigade’s training department, said: “This was an ideal opportunity to test our individual and joint working procedures in as realistic an environment as possible.”