17 July 2005
The Wembley, north London factory of VDC, one of the UK’s
leading optical disc manufacturers, was destroyed by a fire
that started on Thursday. All 200 staff were safely evacuated
from the building.
At its height on Thursday afternoon, 150 firefighters and
30 fire engines tackled the blaze. A London Fire Brigade
spokesperson said half of the ground floor and first floor
of the factory were alight. On Friday, some firefighters
were still there cooling down gas cylinders before their
removal from the plant.
Because of toxic fumes, local residents were told to stay
indoors and construction work on the new Wembley Stadium
was halted. Nearby, train services were also disrupted.
Clouds of smoke were viewed across London's skyline, with
people working as far away as the City saying they could
VDC was established in 1980 and began optical disc manufacturing
in 1994. It operated from the now damaged 100,000sq foot
plant in Wembley.
Equipped with ten CD/DVD replication lines (18 moulds),
the company could produce daily over 220,000 CDs and 200,000
DVDs. Late last year, VDC made a significant investment
in six Netstal optical disc production lines, and was understood
to operate around 80 machines in total.