In the report of the fireworks site fire and explosion (The Argus, December 5), a so-called fire safety expert said the explosion which rocked the site must have been totally unforeseen.

I am a former RAF armourer mechanic and served on various bomb dumps at UK RAF stations.

All explosives and ammunition are stored in separate buildings which have sloping earth/grass banks between them.

The idea is to deflect any explosion skywards and not let it travel horizontally, where it could cause a chain reaction.

All personnel have to hand over all smoking materials in exchange for a numbered tag and no studded footware is allowed.

As a retired welder, I know the storage and use of gas bottles is another danger.

In your centre spread aerial photo, I can see on the site between six and eight acetylene cylinders (coloured maroon) and ten blue pure argon gas bottles lying down. These should always be stored and used upright.

In view of what happened at Shortgate and other firework sites where fires and explosions have occurred, it is about time the so-called experts woke up and enforced the building of earth/grass sloping banks between buildings where fireworks are stored.

Surely this is basic common sense, not rocket science.

  • Colin Whiting, Ashurt Way, East Preston