Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Large plastics fire at South Yorkshire recycling centre

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Media captionLarge plastic fire at South Yorkshire recycling centre

A huge blaze has broken out at a recycling centre near Rotherham.

South Yorkshire Fire Service said up to 500 tonnes of plastic could be on fire at Universal Recycling, on Wharf Road near Kilnhurst.

Seven fire engines are attending the blaze and there has been disruption to local transport services.

People have been told to avoid the area, stay indoors and close windows and doors, and get children inside as soon as possible after school.

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The fire service, police and ambulance service are in attendance, and a cordon is in place.

Incident Commander Andy Hayter, from South Yorkshire Fire Service, said the fire mostly involves plastics, but some metal is on fire.

No oil or vehicles are ablaze and oxy acetylene canisters, which have not caught fire, are being moved to a safe place.

Image caption Large amounts of water pumped from the local canal have helped but the fire service said it could take some time to extinguish the fire altogether
Image copyright Syfr
Image caption A cordon is in place around the fire at Universal Recycling

Mr Hayter said there had been "quite a high number of explosions from aerosols" earlier.

He warned: "Don't come and spectate. It's not a spectator sport and it's not good for your health to be breathing in large quantities of this stuff.

"My concern is around school time. If you are picking your children up from school locally and you do see the plume, make it as brief as you can and get indoors as soon as you possibly can."

BBC reporter Andy Kershaw said he had been told dust masks were being handed out at the two nearest schools to protect children from the smoke.

Image copyright Matt dawson
Image caption Nearby homes have been shrouded in smoke from the fire
Image caption Officers have been given masks to protect them from the smoke
Image caption The burning plastic has created a huge black cloud of smoke

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