HGV driver manoeuvres lorry away from buildings as lithium battery bursts into flame

A fire in a lorry going to a waste recycling site in East Lancashire has prompted a warning about the proper disposal of Lithium batteries.

Just before noon on Tuesday, May 21, emergency services were called to a fire in a heavy goods vehicle just outside Rossendale Transfer Station at Duckworth Clough, Haslingden. The HGV driver spotted smoke rising from the truck early, and safely manoeuvred the lorry away from nearby buildings before uncoupling the trailer from the vehicle, and calling emergency services.

The recyclables were safely tipped onto the yard floor at the waste depot. Emergency services managed to swiftly extinguish the fire. The cause of the fire was thought to be a ruptured lithium battery, causing ignition of paper and card that had been collected for recycling whilst being loaded into the vehicle prior to dispatch.

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Cllo Shaun Turner, Lancashire County Council’s environment boss, said: “This incident highlights how just one small battery which has not been recycled properly can cause such a bit impact. Had the HGV driver not noticed the fire very early, the whole HGV could have gone up in flames, putting the driver, local infrastructure and others lives at risk.

“Any battery, no matter how big or small, can cause fires at our depots and in or vehicles, which is why it is so important to dispose of them correctly.”

No staff were injured and the use of the site has not been affected. More information on the right way to recycle your batteries is available on the ‘Recycling – Lancashire County Council’ website.