A fire involving 50,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material and a factory unit in the West Midlands has been declared "a major incident".

"> A fire involving 50,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material and a factory unit in the West Midlands has been declared "a major incident".

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Radio Sandwell Local News

Huge fire engulfs Smethwick recycling factory

2013-07-01 06:57:34

Smethwick Fire

A fire involving 50,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material and a factory unit in the West Midlands has been declared "a major incident".

The fire service said 150 firefighters were at the scene in Smethwick.

A plume of smoke is rising 6,000ft into the air. Birmingham International Airport has been alerted although there is currently no impact on flights.

The incident is on an industrial estate, but the closest residents are being advised to keep windows closed.

Crews are expecting to be at the scene off Dartmouth Road for days.

Smethwick Fire
Thirty-five fire engines have been sent to the scene off Dartmouth Road

The fire service said its control centre had received more than 200 calls about the blaze and urged people to call 999 only if really necessary.

Jack Awal said he could see the fire from his home a couple of miles away in Handsworth.

He said: "I heard a loud bang and went outside to see what it was.

"I immediately recognised where the smoke was coming from. I knew it had to be a factory.

"It was like a scene from a movie. There were so many large explosions and loud bangs. It was like a firework display - there were loud crackles and bangs every few seconds."

Source: bbc.co.uk

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