9,000 people evacuated due to massive tyre blaze in Spain.
Spanish officials ordered 9,000 people evacuated Friday night from a large apartment complex after a raging fire at a sprawling tyre dump sent spectacular, toxic clouds of black smoke into the sky.
About 8,000 apartment dwellers had already left their homes in Sesena, a central town near Madrid, as the thick smoke poured out from the fire that started before dawn, the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha announced.
It said ambulances were being sent to the complex to evacuate people with health problems who could not leave on their own.
The order was issued because weather conditions were expected to change overnight, raising the risk that the smoke could inundate the apartment complex even as firefighters reported progress in trying to bring the fire under control. The dump is less than 1 kilometer (.6 miles) from the complex.
About 70 percent of the tyres had burned by Friday night but authorities did not know when the blaze would be completely extinguished, said Francisco Martinez, the regional government’s environmental minister.
No injuries were reported because of the fire, which authorities believe was intentionally set. The smoke plume was visible from Madrid, more than 30 kilometers (20 miles) away. The sprawling tyre dump is thought to be Europe’s largest.