PICTURE SPECIAL: Tug boats draw water from Thames to fight fire at Tilbury Docks

Smoke billowing from the grain terminal (Tomas Dobias)

The grain terminal (Pic: Tomas Dobias)

Fire crews on the quay side at the grain terminal (Pic: Tomas Dobias)

Tugs battle the blaze from the river [Pic: RNLI Gravesend]

Thick, black smoke billows from the terminal as tug moves into place to help [Pic: RNLI Gravesend]

First published in News
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SIX fire crews and two fire tug boats battled flames at Tilbury Docks after a grain conveyor belt caught fire.

Two engines each from Orsett, Grays and Rayleigh Weir fire stations arrived at the Port of Tilbury at about 2.50pm on Tuesday as clouds of smoke were billowed from the docks.

They used one main jet and three hose reel jets as well as an aerial ladder platform and were joined by firefighters on two tug boats which were dousing the flames from the Thames estuary.

The incident commander reported the smoke was coming from a rubber conveyor belt at the docks’ grain terminal, which measured 150 metres by 10 metres, 20 per cent of which was alight.

An hour later, the commander described the growing fire as ‘well developed,’ with crews still battling to extinguish it in breathing apparatus, though by 4.30pm it had been contained to about 30 per cent of the conveyer belt.

The fire was out by 5.15pm but crews monitored the scene overnight.

A spokesman from the Port of Tilbury said: "There was a fire at the grain terminal's jetty yesterday which the fire services attended.

"No one was injured and we are now investigating the cause of this.

"The main terminal remains fully operational however there is some temporary disruption to waterside operations as we put contingencies in place."

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