December 11, 2019 / 9:57 AM / 7 months ago

Chemical plant fire in Spain forces authorities to evacuate area

Smoke rises from a fire in a chemical plant outside of Barcelona, Spain December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Albert Gea

MADRID (Reuters) - Catalan authorities evacuated the area around a chemical plant outside Barcelona early on Wednesday after a fire ripped through the facility in Spain’s northeastern region, sending plumes of black smoke high into the air.

The fire brigade said 28 crews had responded to the blaze, which broke out in the early hours at the industrial recycling plant operated by Grupo Ditecsa in Montornes del Valles.

Police advised people in the area to stay indoors to avoid inhaling the fumes from the fire and evacuated everyone within a 500-metre (0.5 km) radius of the plant, which recycles industrial solvents.

Six emergency medical crews were dispatched to the site but there were no reported injuries so far, the Catalan regional government’s civil protection agency said.

The agency said it was not clear what exactly was burning in the plant, but it had activated the region’s chemical sector emergency plan.

Footage posted to the Catalan fire brigade’s Twitter account showed the installation completely engulfed in flames as dense clouds of black smoke blocked out the sky.

Grupo Ditecsa was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Nathan Allen and Jose Elias Rodriguez; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Susan Fenton

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