One person is missing and at least four others have been injured after an explosion at a fireworks factory.
A spokesman for the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said, “Search and rescue workers will begin their operation after the premises is deemed to be safe to enter.”
Supt Jane Hewett from Staffordshire police said “At this stage police and fire are working to establish the cause of the explosion, sSadly we currently believe one person remains unaccounted for and police are working to support their family. We are currently arranging for a search of the scene tomorrow morning once the fire has been extinguished and the scene made safe. The cause of the explosion remains unclear at this point.
One man aged in his 40s was treated for serious burns, while another in his 60s had a back injury and suffered smoke inhalation, two women one in her 40s, the other in her 50s were assessed for smoke inhalation.
West Midlands Ambulance Service initially said five people had been treated but later confirmed it was four – two men and two women.
Residents described hearing a loud bang, before a huge fire ripped through the warehouse in Stafford on Thursday night.
Five fire engines attended along with specialist equipment after the alarm was raised at 5.15pm. Staffordshire fire and rescue said three more engines were sent later, as fire crew struggled to control the blaze. It said a nearby rail line was kept open, but trains were being driven along it cautiously.
Officers evacuated several houses and urged people living nearby to stay indoors and keep their windows closed. Several roads have also been closed off.
Police said the firework warehouse was SP Fireworks, on Baswich industrial estate. Its website suggests it is owned by Stafford Plastics Limited, a family-run business which is currently in liquidation according to company records. The website says it supplies fireworks for garden and professional displays for retail and wholesale.