LONDON A chemical fire at International Rectifier's fab in Newport, Wales caused around 100 local residents to leave their homes overnight according to local reports on BBC Wales which also said that roads around the plant at Tredegar Park were cordoned off and a 400m exclusion zone was set up.
A fire broke out in a cylinder of silane gas in a car park at around 7pm on Monday night and the shift that had just started work at the fab, which runs a 24hour operation, were sent home.
Residents moved out of their homes were sent to hotels in the area for the night. All roads around the plant were reopened around 5am on Tuesday and the offices near the factory reopenned later.
This 7am shift of production staff started work as normal and a spokesman said the fire was isolated and was not affecting on-going production. Major investment has been going on at the fab and last October the company announced it was accelerating the opening of an 8-inch sub-micron wafer fab with phase 2 of the work being completed by October this year.
Last month further expansion was announced, supported by a Welsh Assembly Government Regional Selective Assistance grant, which is expected to create more than 200 jobs by 2010 as result of a �£100m investment. IR is to receive �£8million in regional selective assistance from the Welsh Assembly Government. The site currently employs 550, up from the 300 people at the site when IR took it over in 2002.