Public health warning issued to motorists and people with medical conditions near huge South Yorkshire blaze

Plumes of smoke rising from the scene.
Plumes of smoke rising from the scene.

A public health warning has been issued to motorists and people with medical conditions who live near a huge fire at a recycling plant.

Residents reported hearing explosions as the fire spread through the Universal Recycling plant on Wharf Road, Kilnhurst, near Rotherham.

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Numerous fire crews have been tackling the blaze since it broke out at just before 4.30pm yesterday afternoon.

Public Health England has now issued the following warning: "Motorists travelling through any smoke still present from the Kilnhurst fire this morning should follow our standard advice for motorists in these situations:- Keep vehicle windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep air vents closed."

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They also issued advice to people with medical conditions and said: "Any smoke is an irritant, and can make people’s eyes and throat sore.

"People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be particularly susceptible to any smoke and should carry and use their medication, such as inhalers, as usual."

The fire rages.

The fire rages.

One resident, Daniel Roberts, said yesterday: "There are toxic fumes everywhere, the firefighters have told everyone to go back into their houses."

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are urging people to avoid the area if possible.

They are also advising residents to keep all windows and doors shut due to smoke in the area.

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Firefighters are still at the scene this morning.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: "Officers are on scene and would like to thank the local community for their understanding and patience while work is underway to deal with the incident and ensure everyone's safety."

Last year firefighters tackled another major blaze at the recycling plant, where residents had to be evacuated from their homes.

For safety advice follow South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue on twitter: https://twitter.com/SYFR