Firefighters control the fire in the large oil refinery

A fire in a large oil refinery has been largely controlled by firefighters.

Despite the "aggressive" fire, which produced thick black smoke clouds, there was no disruption of operations at Stanlow Oil Refinery, Ellesmere Port, in Cheshire, the operator said.

All site staff were evacuated and accounted for after the emergency calls were made on Wednesday at 2:15 PM, said Cheshire Fire Service.

It is believed that the flames started in a factory building in the factory.

The blaze at Stanlow (Phil Owen)

The refinery employs more than 900 staff and 500 additional on-site contractors and supplies 16% of all UK road transport fuels, according to operator Essar Oil UK.

Brian Howell, 60, said he was relaxing in the Eastham Ferry area, about eight miles away, before he heard "a loud" whoosh "type explosion."

He added: "I looked at Stanlow and there was an aggressive fire and a lot of black smoke."

Six fire engines were present in Oil Site Road and from 3.30 pm the crews used handheld equipment to extinguish flames, the fire brigade said.

The fire did not disturb the activities of the refinery, said a spokeswoman for Essar Oil UK.

The Environment Agency said that it was trying with the fire brigade to reduce any harmful environmental effects.

Firefighters worked together with on-site personnel to address the expanding emergency situation.

Stanlow has a team of 25 full-time employees to take immediate action to prevent possible catastrophes.

The refinery produces 4.4 billion liters of diesel annually, three billion liters of petrol and two billion liters of jet fuel, according to Essar Oil UK.

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