Deadly blue asbestos unearthed at ex-power station

DEADLY blue asbestos has been found in an underground chamber at the former Broomgrove power station.

It lay in the sealed concrete chamber away from the seat of the massive tyre blaze started by an arsonist last year which sent flakes of a less dangerous form of asbestos flying around nearby housing areas.

Council planning chief Tony Fry said: It is well away from the building. What appears to have happened was that there was a power station on the site previous to the one in the fire. It was the demolition of that one which generated this blue asbestos.

He said it was probably buried by demolition contractors in the 1950s.

There was not the awareness of the dangers of this kind of material in those days. They probably ended up doing the right thing. In terms of what happened it was exactly the right thing because it remained undisturbed and safe.

It was safe at the time of the fire and it is safe now.

Blue asbestos is known to have caused lung cancer among people who worked with it before its danger became clear. There are now stringent safety regulations governing its disposal.

It s professional removal is expected to cost about 120,000.

The final phase of the power station demolition has to wait for the removal common lizards and slow worms protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

The size of the lizard colony in the area has taken experts by surprise. A find of 20 lizards in one sweep is considered to be exceptional. But a survey revealed a total of 99 lizards in one go at the Broomgrove site.