Robot collision triggers fire at London grocery warehouse, thousands of deliveries cancelled

Tens of thousands of grocery deliveries were cancelled following a blaze caused by robots colliding at a major distribution depot.

More than 100 firefighters spent hours battling the blaze at an Ocado warehouse, south-east of London.

The building, on a 36-acre site, is serviced by around 3,500 robots programmed to pack deliveries. Sparks from the collision are believed to have set alight the grid on which the robots operate.

Some 30,000 orders from across the South East are normally processed at the plant everyday.

It is the third blaze at an Ocado warehouse in the past two years, including one in Andover, Hampshire, also blamed on robots which destroyed the building.

Ocado officials said damage in the blaze was limited but there would be disruption to operations for several days.

Unhappy customers took to social media over cancelled/delayed shipments. Cole Moreton, a writer said: ‘I don’t know, maybe they should get some robots that don’t cause fires.’