Threat Of Toxic Smoke From Fire At Rare Metals Plant In Estonia

A fire at an Estonian rare metals plant has caused a roof  to collapse in one of its industrial buildings.

Residents are being advised to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed due to the threat of chemical contamination.

RT reports:

The Estonian town of Sillamäe was under threat of a chemical disaster on Tuesday afternoon after one of the buildings of a rare metals plant used as a warehouse for chemicals caught fire from polyethlene film. It is not clear whether people were inside a building whose roof collapsed, Tass reported.

“Due to the roof collapse, the rescuers can’t get inside the building and are putting out the fire from the outside,” said Helen Tammets, press secretary of a regional rescue center, Tass reported. There has been no information on any injured so far, she added.

“Rescue teams from the whole region have been sent to battle the fire, including a special vehicle from Kiviõli, that is designed to liquidate chemical pollution,” Tammets said.

Residents of Sillamäe, located in the north of Estonia, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, have been asked to stay indoors, with closed windows and doors, as toxic smoke has spread in the town from its industrial zone.

“I believe that the problem resided in the fact that the major repair work was done in building 51, including welding. I’ve heard that by the end of the working day something caught fire, and the blaze spread. I’ve learned from employees of Silmet, that people weren’t hurt,” a former owner of the Silmet plant, Tiit Vähi, told the Delfi web portal.