25 Jun, 2019 @ 17:35
1 min read

Firefighters near San Roque chemical fire warn of toxic smoke as Gibraltar government advises residents to CLOSE WINDOWS and doors

MASSIVE: Cloud of black smoke seen from Casares, Photo by André Dupke

FIREFIGHTERS have called for calm following the ongoing chemical fire in San Roque’s industrial zone. 

Bomberos La Linea said on social media that the blaze is already being brought under control and that firefighters have reduced the risk of it spreading to other plants. 

“The fire is already controlled so that it does not affect more warehouses,” it reported online. 

However it did say that the smoke was likely to be toxic, as is any flame caused by the burning of plastic. 

It added that the towns of Taraguilla, Miraflores and nearby towns would be most affected by the smoke due to the Levante winds. 

It added, however: “We have information that the fire has not affected corrosive or harmful products.

Photo by Eileen Crosby

“Please, do not create unnecessary alarm.”

It comes as the Gibraltar government has warned its residents to close their windows and doors. 

“Until the Gibraltar authorities can confirm the chemical composition of the smoke plume and as a precaution, people should keep doors and windows closed,” it Tweeted.

“The Chief Minister has offered the assistance of the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service to the Spanish authorities.”

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo urged locals to ‘stay safe’. 

It comes after homes were rapidly being evacuated in the towns surrounding the blaze.

Locals told the Olive Press how the massive columns of toxic black smoke are leaving cars ‘covered in ash’ as people rush to get out of the area.

There are also reports that residents in Algeciras have been advised to wear face masks.

“People are moving their cars due to all the ash,” Eileen Crosby told this paper, “And it has started to go dark.”

Tarifa firefighters confirmed they had been called to tackle the blaze in the heart of the industrial area of San Roque alongside several other local fire groups.

“Evacuation of nearby homes have been activated,” the force said in an online statement.

The fire, which started at 3:10 p.m., erupted in the Indorama refinery.

The Indian company is dedicated to the manufacture of plastics.

The flames have caused a large column of black smoke that has spread across the Bay of Algeciras and can be seen in much of the Campo de Gibraltar region.

Bomberos are already at the scene while more are being transferred from Malaga.

 

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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