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Boys Ouizzed on Chemical Plant Inferno

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Three schoolboys are to be questioned after a massive blaze at a chemical factory. Flames at the Nobel Enterprises plant at Ardeer, Stevenston, shook the Ayrshire coast, reaching 100ft high and could be seen from 10 miles away. Police last night revealed that three boys – one aged 10 and two aged 14 – would be reported to the Children’s Panel in relation to the incident.

A report will also go to the procurator fiscal.

The blaze broke out at about 8pm on Saturday and firefighters were still at the scene yesterday tackling small pockets of fire in the debris. At the height of the blaze, 10 fire engines and more than 75 firefighters were tackling the flames.

The factory, formerly owned by ICI, produces a flammable chemical called nitro-cellulose – and up to 1700 tons of it was involved in the blaze.

A fire service spokesman said: “This substance burns very quickly and at high temperatures.

“It was stored and contained within an open area and the fire was, in the main, confined to this section of the plant.

Locals were warned to close windows and remain indoors on Saturday night. Evacuation plans were also in place just in case the blaze spread.

Yesterday, local MSP Irene Old father said: “Constituents are extremely concerned. Thankfully the fire was contained and nobody was hurt.

“But I am looking for immediate talks with Nobel Enterprises to find out how their security was breached and what steps they plan to take to ensure the site is secure in the future.”

Nobel Enterprises last night refused to comment.

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