An explosion and fire at a chemical plant in Marghera, Venice, Italy has resulted in a toxic cloud of smoke choking the surrounding cities, as seen in a shocking video.
Two workers were injured this morning around 10.15 am local time, one seriously injured in the explosion at 3V Sigma Spa’s chemical plant.
Authorities have warned that there may be further explosions and – because they are unsure of the potentially hazardous chemicals that burn – people have been told to close their windows and stay inside as a precaution.
They have also been warned that they cannot eat anything grown in their gardens because of the risk of chemical contamination.
In a dramatic aerial photo, a thick plume of smoke rises like a tower above the burning factory.
The smoke is so thick that it casts a dark shadow on the environment.
Red flames are visible in the ruins of the factory and it seems as if the entire building is on fire.
Eight firefighters fight the fire and the NBCR (Nuclear Biological Chemical-Radiological) team is on site.
City officials told people to stay indoors and keep windows closed, and technicians are still assessing whether there is a serious threat to citizens’ health.
Currently, the smoke is spreading throughout the province of Venice and also to Padua and Treviso.
Councilor Gianpaolo Bottacin warned he could not rule out further explosions and said it was a “complex” fire.
He said, “We don’t know exactly what is being burned, so the advice is not to open doors and windows or consume any products from the garden.
“There was immediate activation of Arpav (regional environmental protection service) on site from the first minute, the area is littered with detectors, but there are substances that require a few hours of reaction time in the laboratory.
“As soon as Arpav data is released, it is communicated to the mayor so that he can make ordinances and give directions to citizens.”