Massive fire at Lithuania tire recycling plant localized: report

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-21 19:37:07|Editor: Li Xia
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VILNIUS, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Open fireplaces no longer exist in a massive fire at a tire recycling factory in Alytus, a town in southern Lithuania, yet the fireplace may continue to smolder, local radio broadcaster LRT reported on Monday.

"The fire has been localized and the chance of fire resurgence is close to zero. The situation has been managed. There is no open fire, but smoldering can occur for quite a long time," LRT quoted Lithuania's Fire and Rescue Department official Saulius Greicius as saying.

In his words, the structures of burned building were damaged, which made it difficult to introduce heavy machinery to further eliminate the effects of the disaster.

"If this is done (heavy machinery introduced), the work will move on quickly. The complexity of firefighting is that it takes place in the middle of a large building and is very difficult to access," Greicius added.

Since last week, Lithuanian firefighters have been trying to extinguish the flames which broke out back on Wednesday in Alytus, in Ekologistika enterprise, one of the biggest tire recycling factories in the Baltics. The military has been called in to assist the efforts. The fire covered an area of about 2,000 square feet.

A major emergency has been declared in Alytus region due to high levels of air pollution with hazardous substances.

According to preliminary estimates by the Lithuanian authorities, the damage to nature caused by the fire could amount to more than 5 million euros (5.6 million U.S. dollars).