SECURITY staff at the site of the Aztec Chemicals blast have been forced to fend off looters and call out police riot vans in the aftermath of the inferno.
Sight-seers and relic-hunters descended on the Crewe Gates Industrial Estate hoping to get a glimpse of the disaster, with several apprehended on suspicion of attempting to break into vehicles abandoned in the panic after the blaze.
As police ended their operations at the site on Wednesday, security staff attempted to deal with an estimated 300 vehicles arriving to view the twisted wreckage.
And overnight, as security staff kept watch over the burned-out shell of Aztec Chemicals Ltd, a number were stopped as they scoured the area for anything that could be salvaged.
Estate security manager Steve Brown said: 'At 3am on Thursday morning we apprehended someone trying the doors of cars abandoned during the fire.'
A police riot van was dispatched to the estate as tempers began to fray and violence erupted between curious sight-seers and frustrated staff.
Mr Brown added: 'At about 8.30pm on Thursday there were still a lot of cars and lorries all over the site.'
This week, as Aztec staff move into new premises across from their former site, fire officials rejected criticism of the speed of their response to fire.
'The only thing I can suggest is that these people were looking and listening from another part of the site,' a Cheshire Fire Service spokesman said.