Staff have been evacuated after a fire broke out at a plant which processes medical waste in North Lanarkshire.
Firefighters were called to the site run by Tradebe Healthcare on Mossbell Road, Bellshill at about 08:10 on Friday. A giant column of smoke could be seen for miles as nine appliances tackled the blaze.
Police Scotland said they were assisting fire crews and there were no reported casualties. Tradebe also confirmed that all staff had been safely evacuated and everyone was accounted for.
A police spokesman added: “The industrial estate is currently closed to traffic and pedestrians and the public should avoid the area.” A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Operations control mobilised four appliances to the scene.
“Additional responses have been sent to the area and there are currently nine appliances and two aerial rescue pumps in attendance, and firefighters are continuing to tackle the fire.”
Tradebe confirmed that the fire broke out inside its facility at about 08:00 but said “it is too early to speculate as to the cause”.
The site opened in December 2019 and the Spanish firm said it can treat up to 80 tonnes of medical waste per day using “state of the art technology”.
It removes waste from hospitals, pharmacies, GP surgeries and dental practices across Scotland on a contract worth £10m per year.
Tradebe picked up the 10-year contract after the collapse of Healthcare Environmental Services, which ceased trading in December 2018 after it became embroiled in a clinical waste pile-up controversy with the NHS.
Gordon Beattie, director of national procurement at NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), said: “NSS is aware of the fire at a facility operated by our clinical waste partner Tradebe.
“Tradebe have kept us fully informed and we are working in partnership to ensure that their alternative arrangements are in place to protect service.”
I wonder, just wonder, if this was a kick back at the events surrounding the demise of HES and the recent award of rather meager financial compensation to those affected at that time?