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Catalan towns on alert over toxic cloud

Residents advised to stay indoors after explosion in Igualada creates dense orange plume

An explosion at a chemical plant in Igualada created a toxic cloud on Thursday.

Residents of four Catalan towns were warned to stay indoors with their doors and windows shut after an explosion at a chemical plant released a toxic cloud into the air on Thursday morning.

The towns of Òdena, Igualada, Santa Margarida de Montbui and Vilanova del Camí (Barcelona) were on alert while 11 teams of firefighters worked to eliminate the dangerous substances from the air.

Two workers required medical assistance after inhaling the toxic substance

The accident reportedly took place shortly after 9am outside the headquarters of the Simar chemical company in Igualada while employees were loading material. Two compounds came into contact with one another, triggering an explosion and a large orange cloud of toxic particles.

Two workers required medical assistance after inhaling the substance.

“Unfortunately there is not too much wind in the area and that will make the toxic cloud dissipate more slowly,” said the Catalan commissioner for interior affairs, Ramon Espadaler.

Espalader asked for parents to remain calm and not to go pick up their children from schools.