A chemical fire alongside the Huddersfield Narrow Canal has closed the eastern part of that canal and the whole of the Huddersfield Broad Canal.
The fire happened early this morning at chemical works alongside Lock 20e of the canal at Linthwaite. On the advice of the emergency services, British Waterways immediately closed the section of canal between Lock 12e, Milnsbridge and Lock 24e, Slaithwaite.
This afternoon the whole of the Huddersfield Broad Canal has been closed. This is because it is feared that chemical pollution from the fire has got into the River Colne. British Waterways has closed the feed from the River Colne into the head of the Huddersfield Broad Canal, to the west of Aspley Basin. Without this feed, the locks on the canal cannot be operated, or the summit level will become drained.
British Waterways says that it will issue an update on Tuesday afternoon (25th May).
This stoppage affects boaters navigating the South Pennine Ring.
Any enquiries regarding this stoppage should be made to BW on 01782 785703 for the Huddersfield Narrow Canal or 0113 281 6860 for the Huddersfield Broad Canal.
Update, 25th May:
Huddersfield Narrow Canal now re-opened. The locks on the Huddersfield Broad Canal are still closed. The pollution has not dispersed through the river system as quickly as anticipated, so the stoppage will remain in place for at least a further 24 hours.
BW will issue a further update on 26th May. Any boaters with an urgent need to travel on the Huddersfield Broad should phone 0113 281 6860 for latest information.
The fire affected more that just the canals yesterday. As a plume of hazardous smoke drifted south-eastwards from the site, schools and major roads were closed and residents across the south of Huddersfield were told to stay indoors.
Update, 27th May:
BW has announced that the Huddersfield Broad Canal will be re-opened by lunchtime today, Thursday 27th May.
Lock 20e, Huddersfield Narrow Canal