A small fire broke out at a Fox’s Biscuits factory after a spark ignited in an old diesel tank that was in the process of being decommissioned.

One man, a contractor working on the tank, was taken to hospital after he suffered burns to his legs, and four others suffered smoke inhalation at the site on Wellington Street in Batley, West Yorkshire, according to a spokesperson for 2 Sisters Food Group, which owns the biscuit brand.

The incident took place at around 10.45am yesterday morning (22 February) with all 450 workers evacuated from the site.

“Contractors were draining and cleaning the diesel tanks and there was a source of ignition that caused the incident,” according to the firm.

There was no damage to buildings or equipment and production was up and running by 3pm yesterday, added the spokesperson.

Mel Bugler, acting managing director of Fox’s Biscuits, said: “Safety is the highest priority across all of our sites.
“Clearly there will be a full investigation, however, our first priority is the welfare of the affected contractor and we are liaising with the hospital and being kept informed on the situation.
“As a precaution we evacuated the site following the incident and followed all of our safety and emergency procedures.”

Fire crews from West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service applied a foam concentrate to the tank due to a pressure build-up inside.

Fire investigation officers also attended the scene to investigate the cause of the blast.