Drama blaze creates toxins

Scientists yesterday were seeking to determine the extent of the atmospheric pollution wreaked by a fire that burned for five days at a large junkyard on an industrial site near Drama, in northern Greece, before being extinguished on Wednesday night. State inspectors from the Environment Ministry took samples yesterday from the site of the blaze, which is believed to have destroyed more than 12,000 tons of tires after being ignited by a bolt of lightning during a storm. For preventive reasons, local authorities banned the grazing of livestock on land within a radius of 5 kilometers from the location of the fire. They also called for a moratorium on the slaughter of animals and on the sale and consumption of eggs laid by free-range chickens. Milk produced by local cows over the past few days is to be collected and tested for toxins too. It remained unclear yesterday whether the owners of the junkyard will face charges of negligence.