Swansea factory fire 'still going strong'

A factory fire at an industrial estate in Swansea is "still going strong" say the fire service.

The blaze was reported at 1300 BST on Thursday and during the afternoon police closed one of the main routes out of Swansea, causing traffic gridlock.

The fire involving old tyres is at the former Mettoys site, near to the city's park and ride site at Fforestfach.

A special command centre has been set up at Swansea Central Police station.

On Thursday evening Carmarthen Road was closed between the Marquis Arms and the Tesco lights at Fforestfach retail park.

Queensway, part of Carmarthen Road and an industrial site at Waunfach Close were evacuated and police advised residents to close doors and windows.

Eye-witness Simon Woodley, who rang the fire service, said he and his colleagues saw the smoke as they were about to go for lunch.

"Smoke was billowing out of the building behind us ... we saw shredded tyres on fire inside," he told BBC Radio Wales.

Mr Woodley said he was about 20-25 metres away from the burning building but "luckily the wind was blowing in the other direction" or it too could have quickly become "engulfed".

Driving instructor Iwan Williams said he became stuck in traffic between two jobs.

Image caption View of smoke billowing from the fire and rising into the air taken by Dave Arter

He told BBC Radio Cymru that he was travelling from the direction of Townhill when he came to a stand-still.

"I can see a huge plume of smoke rising 60-70 metres into the sky - no flames, just thick smoke," he said.

"I've never seen anything like it. Two ambulances and a fire engine have just passed and I can see two helicopters hovering above," he added.

Heavy traffic congestion was reported in the area and the park-and-ride site closed, with no access to vehicles parked there.

Many of the coaches operated by Let's Go Travel, Swansea Bus and M & J Travel were also prevented from leaving the depot.

This was expected to cause distruption to a number of school bus services but teachers were told to remain with pupils until all of them had been picked up.

No injuries have been reported at the former rubber company.

(Photos courtesy of Ground Level Swansea)

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