Chester Zoo is EVACUATED as huge fire breaks outDecember 16, 2018
Thousands of visitors and ANIMALS are evacuated as a huge fire engulfs the crocodile enclosure at Chester Zoo
- Visitors and animals had to be led away from the huge blaze at Chester Zoo
- Huge clouds of black smoke were seen pouring out of the venue on Saturday
- Did you see what happened? Get in touch – [email protected]ailonline.co.uk
Thousands of visitors and animals are being evacuated from Chester Zoo after a huge fire broke out at the attraction in the north-west of England.
Crocodiles and snakes were among the animals under threat as fire crews tried to bring the fire at the Monsoon Forest area under control.
Pictures and video showed huge clouds of black smoke pouring out of the Cheshire venue, which is home to 21,000 animals.
The zoo said fire crews were working to control the blaze and bring the animals to safety.
Flames and plumes of smoke pour out of the building at Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo has been evacuated after a huge fire broke out at the attraction in the north-west of England
One witness tweeted that the blaze in a domed building ‘seemed to be getting worse’ and had ‘broken through in multiple places’.
Another said: ‘It’s very upsetting to see and judging by the speed I watched the fire grow, I’ll be surprised if there are no animal casualties.’
One guest evacuated, Daniel Murphy, told MailOnline: ‘Having just been evacuated from the zoo I can confirm the fire looked to be contained and controlled.
‘Appears the fire crews have reduced the size of fire. Heavy police and ambulance presence all around as well, unclear if any people were caught up.’
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Another of the guests, Emma Flanagan, told the Liverpool Echo: ‘We saw the fire as we arrived, we thought it may be the zoo but we went into the car park anyway.
‘One of the members of staff said it was one of the islands where the fire was.
‘He said around 40 animals had been evacuated, people were still in there but they were getting told to leave.’
Four fire engines are said to be at the scene as they try to bring the huge fire under control.
Chester Zoo said in a statement: ‘We can confirm that the fire brigade is attending a fire in our Monsoon Forest habitat.
‘Visitors have been evacuated and asked to leave the zoo as teams work to bring the situation under control.
‘The zoo’s animal teams are working to move all animals away from the incident.
‘Our response team is working alongside emergency services to bring the situation under control. The zoo is now closed. We’ll update as soon as we can.’
A Welsh Plaid Cymru MP was among the people evacuated, saying: ‘Hope all staff & animals are OK. Evacuation handled excellently.’
A blaze broke out at the zoo in north-west England on Saturday morning with smoke pouring out of one of the buildings
The enclosure at Chester Zoo – which is home to around 21,000 animals – which caught fire today is seen from the air
Another of the guests said: ‘Thank you for an amazing job with a safe evacuation whilst inside the Monsoon enclosure. We wish all the staff and animals a safe incident.’
The Monsoon Forest enclosure, opened in 2015, includes crocodiles, a tentacled snake and an Asian forest tortoise.
A Sulawesi crested macaque, rhinoceros hornbill also feature in the exhibition along with an underwater viewing area.
Chester Zoo has described the attraction as the ‘largest indoor zoo exhibit in UK history’.
The zoo’s website crashed this afternoon as people searched for information about the fire.
Smoke was seen pouring out of the Monsoon Forest habitat at Chester Zoo on Saturday
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