Claims following the blaze in the Festival Fireworks factory last weekend are set to spiral into the millions.

The fire left two dead and 12 injured, and firefighters were still struggling to put out the inferno as Insurance Times went to press due to fears that gas cylinders on the site could explode.

Chelmsford-based broker The Insurance Experts helped place the cover, with the European Risk Insurance Company providing the primary layer of liability insurance.

A spokesman for the company could not confirm how much the claims would be, but a firework expert said since it involved people, they were "likely to be huge".

The source said that the 1998 blaze at a fireworks factory in Uffculme, Devon, cost insurers around £2m in claims and the long-term care issue for those caught up in the blaze would bump the figure up considerably.

It is understood that Australia's Shield Underwriting Agency provides the property insurance for the factory, but it was unavailable for comment.