A series of explosions could be heard as a major blaze tore through a mountain of scrap metal last night.

Dozens of firefighters from stations across Bradford district tackled the fire at Crossley Evans Ltd, a scrap metal plant in Shipley.

Police sealed off a section of Otley Road as about ten fire engines arrived at the scene at about 10.20pm.

At its peak, 20-foot flames rose from the scrap pile and huge plumes of black smoke were visible from miles away.

Firefighters from Shipley and Idle were the first at the blaze and reached the huge mountain of scrap.

Explosions, believed to be from gas cylinders perishing in the flames, were heard coming from inside the pile of metal.

Richard East, 34, of Cote Farm, Thackley, was among a large crowd of people standing on the Canal Road bridge over the compound.

He said: “I had been for a game of snooker with my dad and we saw the flames and plumes of smoke.

“It was just a huge fire and there seemed to be some gas bottles exploding.”

A firefighter suffered slight injuries attempting to get through the locked gates of the scrap yard and his colleagues are understood to have used heavy duty cutters to get inside.

Watch Commander Richard Lightowler said: “It was a very large scrap metal fire, with six pumps which initially attended. It is not clear yet how it started.”

Bosses from Crossley Evans Ltd were at the scene but were too upset to speak when approached by the Telegraph & Argus.

  • Read the full story in Friday's T&A