Rothbury explosion latest: What do we know so far?

Residents have been evacuated from their homes and motorists face diversions after a crane explosion.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 13:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 18:29 pm

Here’s what we know so far about the incident in Rothbury on Tuesday morning.

What happened?

Jason Sumner sent us this picture from the Rothbury blaze.

The alarm was raised at around 7.10am when residents heard explosions from the B6341, near Armstrong Cottages, Rothbury, which rattled their windows.

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Emergency services rushed out and quickly doused a mobile crane which had caught fire. Plumes of smoke could be seen in the sky.

Was anyone caught up in the blast?

Northumbria Police and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service say no-one was injured although eight nearby properties have been evacuated while debris is cleared. Residents have been sheltering in the Jubilee Hall.

Thanks to reader Jason Sumner for this photograph from the scene.

What is the suspected cause?

The police are keen to stress that there are no suspicious circumstances and believe the blaze was triggered by a vehicle defect.

What is happening now?

A cordon is in place with motorists diverted away from the B6341 on Tuesday afternoon. The road is expected to remain closed for a “considerable time”.

What have the emergency services said?

Neighbourhood Inspector John Swan said: "We understand residents may have concerns about this incident but we are not treating the fire as suspicious.

“A team will remain in the area to make sure the scene is secure and motorists keep to the diversions. If you have any concerns please come and speak to us."

What about residents?

Retired soldier Arthur Hughes, 79, of Croft Road, heard an explosion which “rattled the windows”.

He added: “Soon you could see plumes of smoke and hear sirens and more explosions.”