Rail chaos after factory fire

TRAIN services between Ipswich and Peterborough are disrupted today by a massive factory fire in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire.

TRAIN services between Ipswich and Peterborough are disrupted today by a fire in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire.

Trains have been cancelled and delayed by the potato storage depot fire at Abbey Produce in Funthams Lane.

The blaze began at Abbey Produce at Whittlesey at about 7.30am and massive plumes of thick black smoke spiralling skywards from the fire could be seen 30 miles away.

Police closed all local roads on the Fens and set up cordons to hold back people while trains were cancelled, triggering rush-hour chaos.

Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud explosion moments before the blaze started at the site.

Trains between Peterborough and Ely were badly hit and all rail services linking March to Whittlesey were stopped.

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Shocked witness Carol Bagg said she was heading along a street that runs by the River Nene when she saw thick smoke climbing hundreds of feet into the morning sky.

She said: “It was horrendous, really heavy black smoke in big billows and you could see the flames going quite high up.

“I was amazed because the sky was so clear and blue and there was this dreadful black smoke - but it was very pretty actually.”

Karen Williams, who lives near the blazing building, said: “I get a great view from my house about a mile away and I spotted the smoke as soon as I opened the curtains this morning.

“I knew something was going on because of the sirens, but there was this enormous plume of smoke and I knew straight away something serious had happened.

“I don't think anyone will be working there for a while. I just hope that nobody was inside it."

Seventy-five firefighters in 15 fire engines attended.

Residents have been told to shut their doors and windows, a 200 metre exclusion zone has been set up around the site and there are diversions on the A605.

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