Chinese pesticide cloud alarms Buenos Aires

Man in Buenos Aires covers his face Several people were treated for breathing problems and eye irritation

A toxic cloud has covered parts of Buenos Aires, causing alarm and leading to the evacuation of many buildings.

The authorities say the smoke was caused by a fire in a container with pesticides at the city's port, but the situation is now under control.

Hundreds of people experienced nausea, eye irritation and other symptoms.

Buenos Aires Security Minister Sergio Berni said there were no health risks due to the "low toxic levels" of the pesticide, which was produced in China.

The toxic smoke affected Puerto Madero, Congreso, San Telmo and other central areas of the Argentine capital.

Residents and office workers went out with their faces covered by scarves or masks.

They complained of a strong, unpleasant smell, even inside office buildings.

Flights at a nearby airport were temporarily suspended and a motorway was closed during the morning.

The container had come from Shanghai, China, and was bound for Paraguay, La Nacion newspaper reported.

According to the Argentine Health Ministry, it contained a Chinese carbonate-based pesticide commonly used on grain fields.

More Latin America & Caribbean stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • HobbitHobbit review

    Nicholas Barber asks whether The Battle of the Five Armies is worthwhile or unnecessary


  • Digital candlesClick Watch

    Inside the 'Harry Potter' church, using technology to explore "digital empathy".

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.