Fire Extinguished At Automated Complex Of Britain's Ocado

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Residents evacuated from homes say

Emergency services have been tackling the fire at the highly automated site full of robots in Andover since the early hours of Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening the fire service said properties will be evacuated within a 500-metre exclusion zone and a 1.6km stretch based on wind direction.

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said the "stop message", which signals the end of an incident, came in at 6.36 a.m. (0636 GMT) on Tuesday.

Ocado said on Tuesday the fire started in the Andover plant in the ambient grid, the section for food items that can be stored at room temperature.

"There is a phased evacuation of Walworth industrial estate taking place as a precaution and a rest centre has been set up".

The removal of the refrigerants has been completed, while local residents and workers are now also able to access the area.

Ocado has apologised to those affected by a major fire at its Hampshire warehouse after nearby homes were evacuated amid a blaze firefighters are still tackling.

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"We apologise to all those affected by this incident and are very thankful to the people of Andover for their understanding and support during this hard period".

The company confirmed that no members of its team or the public have been injured.

One local tweeted during the blaze: "Just streets away - the noise, heat, smell and light pouring from the Ocado warehouse is frighteningly real. Thank you. Stay safe".

Shares in United Kingdom online supermarket group Ocado slumped Wednesday after a fire ripped through a company warehouse operated by robots. The company said it has comprehensive insurance for the property, stock and equipment, as well as for business-interruption losses.

The centre had been providing about 10 percent of Ocado's United Kingdom capacity and used the robotic technology that the firm is selling to retailers around the world.

Ocado said in a statement today: "As Andover was providing approximately 10% of our current capacity, as a result of this incident there will be a constraint on our ability to meet growing customer demand and there will be a reduction in sales growth until we can increase capacity elsewhere".

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