Authorities in Xanthi, northern Greece, on Tuesday ordered the evacuation of five small villages in the path of toxic clouds of smoke coming from a factory fire.
The fire started at around 1 p.m. at the Sunlight battery plant in Olvio, on the outskirts of Xanthi town. It burned through plastic, acids and other flammable materials, releasing huge clouds of toxic smoke into the atmosphere.
Firefighters had managed to bring the blaze under partial control after several hours, but there are still concerns about a fresh conflagration as the premises contain extremely volatile substances.
One worker has been hospitalized with respiratory problems.