A man in his 50s has died following a fire at a gasification and ‘advanced recycling’ facility for material from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), run as part of a joint venture between EMR and Chinook Sciences.
The incident at the Innovative Environmental Solutions plant at Oldbury in the West Midlands occurred early on Monday morning (7 August).
Emergency services were called to the site on Union Road, shortly after 1.30am. A man who was seriously injured in the incident died later in hospital. Two others were injured.
The facility, which was developed in 2012, processes shredder residue – material taken from scrap car shredders which cannot be recovered for recycling – as part of the joint venture between the metal recycling giant and the energy from waste specialist.
The Ambulance Service confirmed that a man in his 50s had suffered ‘very serious injuries’ and was taken to the regional burns unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The man later died.
It also confirmed that the second patient, a 52-year-old man, had suffered less serious burns and was taken to the same hospital for treatment. A 32-year-old man also suffered minor burns and was treated at the scene and taken to Sandwell District General Hospital.
In a statement, the West Midlands Police confirmed it had also attended the incident. “Police were called by the Fire service at just before 1.50am. Three men were taken to hospital where sadly a man in his 50s passed away.
“The case has been passed to the Health and Safety Executive and the Coroner to establish the cause of the incident. “
West Midlands Fire Service sent two fire engines and a brigade response vehicle to the site – a total of 13 firefighters – from Oldbury, Tipton and Dudley.
A spokesperson for the Fire Service said: “When our crews arrived, three men were being treated for burns by WMAS but a fire that had involved plant at the premises was out.
“Our fire investigators worked throughout the day at the scene, liaising with colleagues from West Midlands Police and also from the Health and Safety Executive. Our joint investigations continue.
In a statement, IES confirmed that a fire had broken out at the energy plant in Oldbury.
A spokesman for the joint-venture company said: “Following the completion of a maintenance task, three people were injured in an accident. We are deeply saddened to say that one team member died later in hospital from his injuries.
“This is an extremely upsetting time for everyone involved and we will do everything we can to support his family and his work colleagues. The company and HSE are on site investigating the cause of the incident”.
When contacted by letsrecycle.com, a spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), said: “HSE is aware of the fatal explosion at IES Oldbury, we are assisting West Midlands Police with their enquiries at this time.”