FIRE bosses say investigations are now underway to determine the cause of an explosion at a factory.

Firefighters from Braintree Dunmow and South Woodham Ferrers were called to Swinbourne Drive at the Springwood Industrial Estate in Braintree yesterday (November 19) at around 12.14pm.

They were responding to reports of an explosion at a factory on the estate.

A furnace has exploded resulting in a fire at the factory.

All staff members at the factory were evacuated with firefighters working alongside site staff to tackle the blaze.

Witnesses working at the industrial estate near to the factory also claim to have been evacuated during the incident, returning to their jobs after two hours.

They reported seeing smoke and mist coming from the factory before emergency services arrived promptly.

At 1.45pm, Essex County Fire and Rescue said they had extinguished the majority of the fire and were remaining on the scene to tackle hotspots.

At the time, Area Manager Neil Fenwick said: “Crews did an excellent job with site staff to stop the fire from spreading and to make the scene safe.

"We worked closely with our partners in the Ambulance Service to ensure the scene was being managed safely.”

It was later said by the service that the fire had been completely put out by 3pm.

Now an investigation has been launched to establish the cause of the fire.

Station Manager Jez Tuckwell, Incident Commander added: “I’d really like to thank the site staff for assisting us with this incident and ensuring all 50 members of staff were safely evacuated.

"This was a great partnership effort to safely resolve this incident.”