Thousands to be evacuated over toxic fumes in Bulgaria

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The Independent Online

Authorities have called for a full evacuation of a small town in central Bulgaria after a chemical tanker crashed, covering Debelets with a cloud of toxic fumes.

Police said the tanker — carrying an estimated 20 tons of styrene — crashed early today near the town of 4,500. Some 4 tons of the volatile chemical leaked from the vehicle, resulting in a toxic cloud.

No injuries were reported and the leak was under control, police said.

Styrene is a synthetic chemical used in the manufacture of rubber, plastic and fiberglass. Its fumes are believed to cause cancer when inhaled.