Shropshire Star

Fire breaks out at Oxfordshire processing facility after lightning strike

The fire occurred at Severn Trent’s Cassington AD facility near Yarnton on Monday.

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Oxford incident sky

A large fire caused by a lightning strike has broken out at a processing facility in Oxfordshire.

Severn Trent Green Power, a waste management company, confirmed the fire had occurred at its Cassington AD facility, near Yarnton, in a statement posted on Facebook on Monday evening.

It said a digester tank was struck by the lightning at around 7.20pm, causing the gases within the tank to ignite.

The company said no-one had been injured in the incident and it was working with emergency services to secure the site.

Thames Valley Police said the A40 had been closed between Wolvercote and Eynsham, and urged residents to stay home and shut windows and doors.

Videos began circulating on social media on Monday showing a large fireball and the sky in the area pulsing an orange colour.

Jack Frowde, 34, from Oxford, who works at Oxford University, said: “I was sitting in my kitchen when the whole room lit up with a brilliant white light, then followed by a huge crack which sounded like really heavy thunder.

“I looked out of the kitchen window and it was as if the sky was pulsating orange.

“I ran to the back to capture the orange glow as it faded after about 20 seconds.”

Stuart Hosking, in his 50s, from Oxford, an AI business director and former contestant on Big Brother, said: “We were pretty close. I thought it was the sun setting, until I saw the flickering and smoke.

“The lights flickered in the house then a flash, then a rumble like thunder, but a single bang.”

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Thames Valley Police have been contacted for comment.