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Fire at robotic warehouse hits UK online supermarket

Shares in UK online supermarket group Ocado slumped Wednesday after a fire ripped through a company warehouse operated by robots.

Ocado said it faced "a reduction in sales growth" after a fire that started Tuesday damaged the facility in Andover, southern England, affecting about one-tenth of its warehousing operations.

Shares in Ocado, which has no physical stores, dived 7.7 percent to 954.80 pence in late morning deals.

That made it the biggest faller on London's benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was down 0.1 percent overall.

"Unfortunately the fire which started yesterday... was not contained as we believed, and last night expanded," Ocado said in a statement.

No staff or members of the public were injured as a result of the blaze which was now under control, it added.

The Andover facility is designed to handle up to 1,100 robots, or moving containers collecting orders for its solely online customers, according to the company.

The robots operate on a grid housing 250,000 locations.