Toxic cloud covers town near Barcelona after huge explosion at chemical factory

Residents described huge orange cloud covering the sky

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The Independent Online

Thousands of people were forced to stay indoors after a fire at a chemical factory near Barcelona created a toxic orange cloud in the sky.

According to Catalan Police the explosion in the factory in Igualada, at 9:45am, was caused by an accidental contact between three chemicals.

The Spanish Emergency team confirmed that three people reported minor injuries and needed hospital treatment.

As a precaution, Catalan Firefighters and Civil Defence ordered 66,000 residents in Òdena, Igualada, Jorba y Vilanova del Camí to stay at home, close windows and doors and avoid going outside.

Pupils from a local school who were in a nearby wood to celebrate a carnival saw the explosion. None of them reported serious injuries, as they used scarves to cover their mouths.

Míriam Solà, mum of a pupil, reported to EFE that her child told her he saw “a huge and orange cloud that covered the sky”.

Toxic gasses can cause serious harm to pregnant women, elderly, children and people affected by breathing diseases.

Firefighters and Catalan Police are working to ensure nobody is still inside or near the factory.