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Late night and early print run follows oil blast

News teams in north Lincolnshire swung into action when reports of a blast at an oil refinery reached the Grimsby Telegraph
and Scunthorpe Telegraph.

A massive fireball had ripped through the complex, shaking buildings miles away.

The Bank Holiday team in Grimsby had completed the main news pages for Tuesday’s paper but stayed on to produce eight pages of news, background and pictures on the incident ready for an early print run.

Deputy news editor David Atkin said: “I was just heading for home when I got a phone call into the office from a member of the public to say there had been an explosion. Then the phones went mad. They wouldn’t stop ringing.”

People rang constantly for more than two hours as worried callers – some from as far away as Hull – got in touch after witnessing the incident.

The news team was in competition with the local Calendar and Look North TV news programmes, as well as Sky News, which led on the story for most of Monday afternoon.

David said: “One of our reporters, Phillip Norton, went straight out there with a photographer and when we realised how big it was we sent another out and had two in the office.

“We’ve got some dramatic pictures. Members of the public were bringing them in.”

Scunthorpe editor Michelle Lalor said: “The Grimsby office contacted us for help and we phoned our on-call reporter, Matthew Finch, who immediately went out there.

“By mid-afternoon there was another reporter, two subs and head of content in the office.”

With three reporters and two photographers at the site, and numerous pictures being sent in from the public, the Grimsby paper was able to sustain an extra four pages and had a 9.15am print run to get copies on the street early.

David added: “It’s been a really good team effort between us, the Scunthorpe newsroom and the public. The good coverage has been down to our reporters.”

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