Walkerburn chemical factory fire closes A72

Fire crews were alerted to a fire at the Rathburn Chemicals factory in Walkerburn this morning.
Fire crews were alerted to a fire at the Rathburn Chemicals factory in Walkerburn this morning.
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Fire fighters are currently tackling a fire in Walkerburn, following an early-morning explosion at the village’s chemical factory.

Villagers heard a loud explosion from the Rathburn Chemicals factory at around 6.34am.

Two fire crews were dispatched, as well as two specialist resources due to the possible dangers at the site.

Two people were injured in the incident.

The A72 is closed in both directions and the X62 bus service from Galashiels to Peebles is currently not running, while the school bus services between Peebles and Galashiels were cancelled.

A spokeswoman for Scottish Fire & Rescue told us: “We were alerted to reports of a fire at an industrial unit in Walkerburn.

“Specialist teams were also sent due to hazardous materials being present.

“Two casualties are being treated at the scene, and firefighters remain at the scene.”

South of Scotland MSP Michelle Ballantyne, whose husband runs a business in Walkerburn, said: “I was saddened to hear that Rathburn chemicals in Walkerburn caught fire this morning and my thoughts are with those who suffered injuries.

“Rathburn is very important to our community by providing jobs and wealth to our small village.

“I will be speaking to the owner to see if they need any assistance to ensure that we don’t lose the valuable contribution that they play.”