Pubs and late-night takeaways have reacted to the huge explosion caused when lightning struck a power station.

A Thames Valley Police statement released earlier this evening (Monday, October 2) confirmed that officers have been on the scene of a fire at Severn Trent Green Power waste plant near Yarnton.

This followed lightning striking gas containers on the site during a thunderstorm this evening, causing a large fire.

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A statement from the waste plant released at around 8.30pm confirmed a digester truck had been struck by lightning at around 7.20pm.

The explosion affected many of the nearby businesses.

A chef at Kidlington Kebab House described how he found out what had happened.

Jimmy Baysal said: “We heard it. It was shiny and there was a big yellow explosion. I had a little power cut, with my lights flashing on and off for about five minutes.

“I thought it was just thunder and lightning so I just ignored it.

"But then I started getting calls from my friends and family in Turkey who had seen the explosion on the news. They were checking if I was Ok.

“That’s when I found out what had happened.”

Mahfuz Miah, manager of Ovisher Indian Restaurant and Takeaway in Kidlington, told of a similar power cut situation.

He said: “Our power cut out and our lights turned off for a few seconds.

“We thought it was weird that thunder would cause our lights to go out. That’s never happened before. Of course, we now know it was the explosion which caused the lights to go out.

“It’s just crazy what’s happened.”

A number of other businesses suffered from brief power cuts around the time of the explosion.

Hannah, who works at The Black Horse, in Kidlington, said: “It made our tills go down. We saw thunder and lightning through the window and then the tills went down for about 30 seconds. It’s pretty mental.”

Rebecca Walker, supervisor at The Red Lion in Kidlington, said: “What happened is insane. We had our lights flickering and we had this massive bang, which we thought was thunder, but clearly not.

“We all had people call us up to ask if everything was okay, we were all a bit concerned.”

Severn Trent Green Power has confirmed it is working with emergency services to secure the site.

Thames Valley Police said no one is believed to be hurt though residents are asked to stay home and shut windows to ensure safety.

Six fire engines and 40 firefighters were called to the explosion.

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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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