200 firemen from 15 brigades fought a giant blaze that enveloped nearly half the world's biggest cotton mill at Castleton, near Rochdale, Lancashire, UK, Feb 3.
LAST SHOT: Firemen on ladder.
NB TO EDITORS: SENT WITHOUT SHOTLIST TO CATCH EARLY FLIGHTS.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 200 firemen from 15 brigades fought a giant blaze that enveloped nearly half the world's biggest cotton mill at Castleton, near Rochdale, Lancashire, UK, Feb 3. Starting in the rubber department, where mattresses are made, the flames reached sideways and upwards.
Of the 2,000 or so employees, all of whom were evacuated from the five-storey high, half-mile long mill, only one is missing, a male clerk.
For several hours the fire consumed floor after floor of the mill. Sections of the roof crashed downwards, destroying upper floors and scatter flaming debris in all directions.
A black pall of smoke hung over the Dunlop mill and flames spurted from windows, menacing firemen on ladders. Quickly large sections of the mill were reduced to smouldering shells. Damage is estimated at several million pounds. And work will not be possible for several days at least.
When the main conflagration had been brought under control firemen stayed on the alert for many hours as others toured the mill extinguishing isolated blazes.