Pollution of rivers following a fire near Huddersfield has resulted in closure of part of the Calder and Hebble Navigation.
British Waterways has announced a stoppage affecting the waterway between Cooper Bridge and Thornhill Double Lock, Dewsbury.
The incident is the result of a serious fire at a chemical factory at Linthwaite in the early hours of Monday morning, when chemicals seeped into the adjacent River Colne.
Acting on advice issued by the Environment Agency British Waterways is working to prevent the input of polluted water into the canal system. Initially this involved closing the feed from the River Colne into the Huddersfield Broad Canal, resulting in the closure of that canal, as there was no incoming water to re-fill locks.
The river pollution has now reached the River Calder just below Cooper Bridge. In order to prevent polluted water entering the lock cuts and the canal section between Thornhill and Broad Cut, the flood locks will be closed, preventing the passage of boats.
Boats currently on the Battyeford and Mirfield lock cuts will need to remain where they are. The Huddersfield Broad Canal remains closed, so boats coming downstream from Brighouse should not proceed past Kirklees Cut. Boats coming upstream from Broad Cut will not be able to exit from Thornhill Flood Lock and should not proceed beyond Thornhill Double Locks.
British Waterways will issue an update on Wednesday 26th May. Any enquiries regarding this stoppage should be made to BW on 0113 281 6860.
This temporary closure is to prevent any long term environmental and ecological impact.
Update, 27th May:
BW has announced that the Calder and Hebble Navigation will be re-opened throughout by lunchtime today, Thursday 27th May.