Spanish tyre blaze causes 'toxic cloud'


orange flames billowing out of black smoke, 13 May 2016Image copyright
EPA

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The dump at Sesena, a town where 20,000 people live, is thought to be the largest in Europe. It stretches over 25 acres (10,000 sq metres).

A huge fire at a tyre dump in Spain has sent a “toxic cloud” of black smoke into the air, and residents have been told to keep windows and doors shut.

Emergency services were called to the town of Sesena, 35 km (22 miles) south of Madrid, at 01:00 local time (23:00 GMT on Thursday).

They sent 10 teams of fire-fighters, who have battled the blaze all day.

Some schools stayed closed for the day and people with respiratory problems have been advised not to leave home.

There are no reports of any injuries.

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EPA

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An official at Madrid’s firefighting department said about a fifth of the dump was affected.

El Pais (in Spanish) reports that investigators believe the fire was started deliberately, as recent humid conditions make other causes unlikely.

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AFP

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The emergency services declared an alert and used helicopters to douse the flames with water.

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AFP

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The smoke pillar was visible for miles away – this photograph was taken from a cathedral in the capital Madrid

Drivers on roads nearby have been told to keep their car windows up as the smoke may damage their health.

Flight departures and arrivals at Madrid airport have not been affected.

In 2015 The Guardian newspaper reported that local government authorities were searching for a company to shred and recycle 90,000 tonnes (99,000 tons) of tyres that had been dumped there.

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EPA

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The regional government said it was a “toxic cloud” and could affect part of the town.

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AP

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The local government of Castilla La Mancha province, where half of the sprawling dump is situated, opened an information phone line for people concerned about the fire.



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