The centre of Roermond was closed off on Wednesday morning following a major fire which caused asbestos to drift over the southern town.
Locals in the affected area have been told to keep doors and windows shut. Two primary schools will remain closed and shops have been closed for the next few hours.
The main stations and roads have been closed as well, so that the emergency services can start the clean-up operation. Trains are not stopping in Roermond and through traffic is being told to follow alternative routes.
People who want to leave the town centre have to go through a special decontamination process. Several thousand people live in the affected area.
The asbestos was released following a major fire in two boat sheds. The fire broke out shortly before 22.00 on Tuesday night in the marina where dozens of yachts are in winter storage. The fire was brought under control some 90 minutes later but it is not clear how it began.
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