When 'burning rubber' doesn't mean high-speed racing

Flames raging through a pile of tyres at a massive waste ground south of the Spanish capital of Madrid yesterday. The 10ha dump, which contains millions of tyres, caught fire early yesterday morning, releasing a thick black cloud of toxic fumes. Offi
PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Flames raging through a pile of tyres at a massive waste ground south of the Spanish capital of Madrid yesterday.

The 10ha dump, which contains millions of tyres, caught fire early yesterday morning, releasing a thick black cloud of toxic fumes.

Officials, concerned that the fumes could harm the some 20,000 residents of the nearby town of Sesena, have activated an emergency action plan.

Firefighters and helicopters were racing to extinguish the blaze.

A firefighting department official urged residents to close their doors and windows and try to stay away from the smoke.

No injuries have been reported.

The massive pile of tyres started to form in the 1990s when a company began using the site as a temporary depot for old tyres due to be recycled.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2016, with the headline 'When 'burning rubber' doesn't mean high-speed racing'. Print Edition | Subscribe