MADRID -- Spanish emergency services said Wednesday that firefighters were making headway in extinguishing a fire that destroyed a chemical plant in a northeastern town, and that warnings that people should stay indoors had been lifted.
The early morning blaze at a solvent and industrial residues recycling plant in the town of Montornès del Vallès initially sent huge flames and columns of thick black smoke into the sky and could be seen for a great distance. The plant is in an industrial complex and authorities cordoned off an area of some 500 meters (550 yards) in radius around it.
Emergency services spokesman Nacho Solano said there were no casualties and no one needed to be treated for any side effects from the fire.
The region's firefighting department sent some 30 units to deal with the blaze.
At midday, Solano said that although the fire was still active it had been greatly reduced.
He said only people who had respiratory problems or who noticed any discomfort were being advised to stay indoors.
Solano said a nearby river appeared to have been contaminated and that factories and farmers had been advised not to draw from it until further notice. He said drinking water in the area was unaffected
Solano said the cause of the fire was not yet known.