« A huge fire erupted at a plastics depot in a suburb of Osijek in eastern Croatia in the early hours of Wednesday morning, unleashing plumes of thick black smoke towards neighbouring Bosnia.
Cellphone footage captured at the scene shows piles of plastic being engulfed by flames as well as the aftermath of the blaze.
According to local reports, the fire spread to a chemical storage facility, releasing toxic fumes into the air. Residents in Osijek were told to stay indoors and keep their windows closed.
At least 180 firefighters and 82 vehicles were dispatched to extinguish the blaze, which began just after midnight. Three firefighters were injured, one reportedly sustaining burns to more than half of his body.
Authorities have said the fire, which has been described as the largest ever seen in Osijek, is not completely extinguished, ‘but it is localized and under control’.
The plastics depot is operated by ‘Drava International’ and is the fourth fire at the site in the last decade, according to Ivan Anusic, governor of the Osijek-Baranja region.
Later on Wednesday, the city of Osijek announced that no hazardous air pollution had been detected in the area following tests conducted by a mobile team from Croatia’s Institute of Public Health. »