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Plant inferno prompts evacuation order in US

A large fire at a plastics factory led to concerns about potentially hazardous smoke

A blaze at a plastics manufacturer in the US state of Georgia on Saturday led to local officials issuing an evacuation order amid concerns about the impact of potentially hazardous smoke.

The fire, which began early on Saturday at a plastic resin plant in Brunswick, was initially brought under control by firefighters but later reignited. It led to large plumes of smoke billowing into the sky, and prompted the Glynn County Board of Commissioners to advise residents within a half mile of the plant to evacuate their homes. Brunswick Mayor Cosby Johnson declared a local state of emergency.

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The evacuation order was subsequently lifted late that night, while officials also advised residents that the fire had been extinguished with the use of a foam fire-fighting agent.

Local officials had previously warned that the wind direction would likely take the smoke over heavily populated areas, but did not provide details of any potential hazards related to exposure. The facility is located around 70 miles (112km) north of Jacksonville, Florida, which has a population of nearly one million people.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, and no injuries were reported as of Saturday. It follows a similar blaze at a plastics plant in Indiana on Tuesday, which also led to concerns about potentially toxic pollution. Officials there are analyzing water and air samples to determine if there is any ongoing risk to residents.

April 16, 2023 at 05:41PM

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