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Fire destroys major UK DVD manufacturing plant

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 see it.

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.

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