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Ocado says fire at distribution center puts 400 jobs at risk

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Friday 17 May 2019

Ocado says fire at distribution center puts 400 jobs at risk

(Sharecast News) - It will take Ocado two years to rebuild the distribution centre that was destroyed in a fire in February 2019, leaving roughly 400 jobs at risk.
Almost half of the 850 people employed at the Andover site risk being laid off, a spokesperson for the digital grocer announced.

Investigators blamed the cause of the fire on an electrical fault in a battery charging unit which caused a plastic lid on the top of a grocery-carrying robot to catch fire.

The resulting blaze meant that nearby homes had to be evacuated due to fears that a three-tonne cylinder of ammonia gas might combust.

\"In light of the fact that the rebuild of Andover CFC will take at least 2 years to complete, it is with immense regret that we have commenced a formal consultation process,\" the company said.

\"We would like to thank all of our colleagues for their hard work and we will provide them with all the support we can during this process. We are committed to rebuilding and restoring our operations in Andover and sincerely hope that we are able to welcome any affected colleagues back to Ocado in the future.\"

The Andover warehouse provided about 10% of Ocado\'s delivery capacity and most of the workers that will be kept on work in delivery.

The firm, which currently delivers groceries for Waitrose and Morrisons as well as for Ocado\'s online store was planning on expanding to delivery for M&S.

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