/Bombardier fire being treated as an accident

Bombardier fire being treated as an accident

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A “significant” fire that broke out at the Bombardier factory in the docks area of Belfast on Sunday night is being treated as an accident.

The NI Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said the blaze is believed to have started within a machine at the plant.

The fire, which has now been extinguished, has damaged the roof and machinery but it was “localised to that area of the plant”, NIFRS added.

No one was in the area when it caught fire and there are no injuries.

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Joel Neill

NIFRS said some firefighters will remain at the scene to observe and monitor for potential hot spots. It said that Bombardier would carry out its own investigation into what happened.

Airport Road, where the factory is situated, remains closed.

The fire broke out on Sunday night, with the fire service receiving a call at about 20:45 BST to attend the blaze in the east of the city.

Bombardier, an aerospace company, is one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers.

In a statement on Sunday night, it said there were no employees working in the factory at the time, adding that it would take time to assess any damage.

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Grzegorz Unijewski

The fire service said six pumping appliances, one aerial appliance, and a high-volume pump were used to contain the fire.

Fire Service Area Commander Dermott Rooney described it as a “very significant” blaze.

Susan Fitzgerald, from union Unite, told Good Morning Ulster that she does not yet know what the implications of the fire will be.

“We think it was contained, and we’re hopeful it is cosmetic, but we won’t know until later on today,” she said.

She said that about 50% of Bombardier’s workforce had just returned to work in the factory.

Stephen Kelly, of Manufacturing NI, said the company is extremely important for Northern Ireland’s economy because for every job that is at Bombardier, there is “probably another two jobs supplying them”.

“We hope it’s not as damaging as we fear,” he said.

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