Firefighters and specialist army units are fighting to control a massive fire at a chemical storage plant in Moerdijk, south of Rotterdam, the Telegraaf reports.
Chemie-Pack is made up of a number of warehouses and tanks where chemicals are stored. Workers told the local television station some 400,000 of dangerous, cancer-inducing chemicals are stored at the site, but the exact substance has not yet been officially identified.
People upwind of the fire are being told to stay indoors and keep doors and windows shut.
The justice ministry has declared a stage 4 alarm – the highest possible – and a national coordination centre has been set up.
Eyewitnesses told the Telegraaf, flames are shooting tens of metres into the sky and dense black smoke is moving northwards towards Dordrecht. A number of explosions have been heard, possibly from exploding storage tanks.
According to the Telegraaf, the nearby motor engine trading firm Wärtsilä has also gone up in flames. Seven other nearby companies have been evacuated.
The nearby A16 motorway has been closed to traffic and several lanes closed on the A17, Nos tv says.
More to follow
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