Fire at solvent recycling site spotlights lax safety rules

A massive blaze all but destroyed Distillex's Tyneside solvent recovery works in April and forced the evacuation of 500 people within a half-mile radius. The fire sent drums exploding in the air and covered South Shields in smoke. Despite the devastation, the company apparently stored less than 5% of the quantity of inflammable liquids that would require registration under hazardous substances planning or major hazards regulations.

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