Eyewitness ‘thought plane had crashed’ when she heard explosion near Stansted Airport
18:38 06 March 2014
An eyewitness to the Takeley explosion has told how she “first thought a plane had crashed” when she heard the “almighty bang”.
Pat Burnett, a member of Takeley Parish Council, who is also part of the village’s emergency response team, said she was going into her kitchen when she first heard the explosion.
She said: “It was so loud. My first thought was that a plane had crashed, and then I thought maybe a heavy goods vehicle may have collided with something. I couldn’t see out of my windows because of how much smoke there was. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“I went outside because I thought it could be an emergency and saw lots of black smoke in the sky, so grabbed my keys and went to see what it was. I’m a member of the parish council and knew there was a safe building nearby to take people.”
People immediately took to social media following sightings of the large blaze at a scrap metal yard on Dunmow Road. Many posted pictures of the fire on Twitter.
The blaze broke out at C&C Metal Trading Ltd at about 4.30pm today.
It is believed that a number of acetylene and oxygen cylinders may have caused the explosion.
Two people were treated for minor injuries and the East of England Ambulance Service’s hazardous area response team was called to the scene.
Firefighters are still tackling the blaze and a 200-metre exclusion zone has been put in place.
Four crews, two from Dunmow, one from Stansted and another from Bishop’s Stortford, are in attendance.
Police have closed the B1256 (Dunmow Road) in both directions between Parsonage Road (The Four Ashes) and Canfield Road.
Residents living nearby have been advised to stay in their homes and close their windows. Officers are also liaising with Stansted Airport, which is monitoring the situation with the plume of smoke. Flights have not been affected by the blaze.
Police have advised anyone travelling to the airport to allow extra time for their journey.