Sony disc warehouse destroyed during London riots
Main distribution centre for the UK hit by large fire
By Martyn Williams | Published: 10:40, 09 August 2011
Sony's main optical disc distribution warehouse for the UK was hit by a large fire on Tuesday morning that has apparently destroyed most or all of the building.
Television images showed fire consuming the facility in Enfield, a borough in the north of London that has seen significant damage in recent riots.
The warehouse is one of six Sony has in Europe. It is operated by subsidiary Sony DADC and handles distribution of Sony Blu-ray Disc, DVD and CD blank media, movies and games for the UK.
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The fire will almost certainly have an impact on supply of Sony entertainment products in country and neighbouring Ireland, but the extent of the impact will depend on the damage caused.
Sony spokesmen in Tokyo said no staff had been injured in the blaze, but other information including the cause of the fire was unknown. "We are trying to confirm the facts," said George Boyd, a spokesman for Sony in Tokyo.
It came as London endured a third night of rioting and looting with numerous fires being set across the capital. An eye witness told BBC Radio that he saw youths carrying petrol bombs shortly before the distribution centre was looted and set ablaze.
Journalists on the scene of the Sony fire reported seeing people walking away from the warehouse with consumer electronics goods. The warehouse is not a major consumer electronics distribution point for Sony, so the number of products inside was likely low.
The Metropolitan Police said at least 334 people were arrested in disturbances in several areas of the city. More than 1,700 additional police officers were deployed onto the streets of London with extras being drafted in from nine police forces in areas around London. The trouble first began after a protest on Saturday in Tottenham, and has spread through the city over subsequent nights.