A MAJOR explosion tore through a recycling plant yesterday.

People were advised to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed after fire broke out at BCB Environmental Services, at Marston Moor Business Park, Tockwith, near York, at 4.02am.

Five fire crews tackled the blaze for several hours before letting it burn out.

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The fire was classed as hazardous and Environment Agency officers were on standby to protect nearby Fleet Beck.

Roads surrounding the business park were closed initially, however by midmorning firefighters had the blaze under control and roads were re-opened.

The smoke could be seen for miles around.

Tockwith resident Dave Simpson said: “At about 6am I heard what sounded like demolition noises or the sound of a quarry.

“When I got up I saw a massive black cloud heading over the village. Then there were more noises which became apparent were explosions. One of them shook my house.”

A BCB Environmental Services spokesman said the materials handled at the plant were classed as hazardous, and that it mainly handled paints and inks.

He said: “We can’t comment on the fire because we have yet to investigate what the causes are. We will be working with the Fire and Rescue services and the Environment Agency to investigate.”