Fire destroys NZ stainless plant

Workers at a Christchurch stainless steel plant face an uncertain future after their factory turned into a blazing inferno. About 40 firefighters battled for more than an hour to bring the blaze at Mercer Stainless, in Lunns Road, Middleton, under control. The toxic on-site mix of chemicals and LPG initially raised fears of a major explosion but firefighters managed to isolate and contain the fire. The building was only a year old and contained a new USD 5 million polishing machine. An administration block and showroom were untouched by the fire. The factory was empty when the blaze broke out. Firefighters were only alerted after workers at the A.W. Fraser factory noticed a strange smell.
Mercer Stainless recently won a lucrative contract to provide vats and other equipment to the Fonterra dairy factory at Clandeboye in South Canterbury.

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