Disasters & Accidents

Venetians shut inside their homes due to chemical blaze

Rome, May 15 (efe-epa) .- A fire broke out on Friday at a chemical plant in Venice, prompting the mayor Luigi Brugnaro to ask residents to stay inside with their windows closed.

Those living in the city have spent months in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and were again asked not to leave their homes due to the toxic smoke caused by the blaze.

The explosion and subsequent fire took place at the 3V Sigma plant in the industrial area of Porto Marghera on mainland Venice.

Two people have been hospitalized due to serious injuries, Gianpaolo Bottacin, from civil protection of the Veneto region, told media.

Eight firefighter teams were at the scene, as well as units from the nearby cities of Treviso, Padua, Vincenza and Rovigo.

The fire affected an area of ??about 10,000 square metres, but firefighters were able to stop it from advancing, according to authorities.

Bottacin did not rule out, however, further explosions and said it would take some time for the blaze to be completely extinguished as the fire was still active.

Technicians from the NBCR division of firefighters, who intervene in situations where there is a possible danger of the spread of nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological substances, were also at the scene.

Due to the dense smoke caused by the incident, authorities activated an emergency plan due to the risks of chemical substances being present in the air and Mayor Brugnaro called on residents to stay home.

“While waiting for the data on the substances, and as a precaution, I encourage everyone to stay home and close the windows,” the politician said on his social media.

He also used his Twitter account to thank the police, firefighters and all those working at the scene for their efforts.

To ensure the safety of workers in the area, authorities have cut off traffic within a 1.5 kilometres radius and public transport that went through the vicinity has been diverted to different routes.

A siren is to announce the fire has been put out, so that residents know when operations have ended. EFE/EPA

gsm/eld/rb

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