Fire rages through Changhua County recycling plant

Smoke was visible 3 km away

Fire hits a recycling plant in Changhua County (photo from Changhua Fire Service).

Fire hits a recycling plant in Changhua County (photo from Changhua Fire Service).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A fire raging through a recycling plant in the Changhua town of Fangyuan (芳苑) sent smoke up in the air which was visible 3 kilometers away, reports said Saturday.

The fire started around 10 a.m. and soon turned into a massive blaze due to coastal winds, while large amounts of plastic caused black smoke, firefighters said.

Residents 3 km away could clearly see the pillar of smoke reaching into the sky, with media describing it as a “black dragon.”

As the recycling plant closes on Saturday, nobody was present, so there were no injuries or casualties, the authorities said. A total of almost 50 firefighters showed up with 23 vehicles to fight the blaze, which was brought under control about five hours after it started, reports said.

There was no immediate information as to what might have caused the fire to erupt, though on Saturday, temperatures were particularly high all over the island, with the mercury reaching 38.2 degrees in Taitung County on the southeast coast.