The large fire has now been declared to be under control since it is now restricted to an area of less than 10% of the affected area.
Currently some 70 fire-fighters are battling the remaining flames.
The mayor of San Roque Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix insists that there is “no risk to health” but says that the fire will continue to burn for an hour or so.
Widespread alarm was caused in Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar by a huge fire in a petrochemical plant belonging to the Indorama company which is situated in the Guadarranque industrial zone and which produces petrol for plastics and fibres.
Since the fire was declared at about 3 this afternoon an intense, thick cloud of smoke has been darkening the sky throughout the district with emergency services’ lines having received more than 70 calls.
The company has not yet explained the cause of the fire although it claims that there have so far been no casualties.
Despite official communiqués in Spain to the effect that there is no danger to health, the enormity of the fire and doubts as to the toxicity of the cloud have caused general alarm and an Emergency Plan has been put into effect which has included the deployment of several units of the Provincial Consortium of Fire-fighters and the disaster has been given a category 2 classification.
The Gibraltar Government advised citizens to remain indoors with windows closed.
Meanwhile the Regional Andalucian Government has closed traffic on the Guadarranque road and ordered the evacuation of everyone from the industrial park except the essential services.
The fire was located in a warehouse Plasma Transferred Arc (PTA) powders are stored and efforts were being made to prevent the fire from spreading to other warehouses.
For its part the ecology group Verdemar advises the public to close their windows and avoid going out as it considers that the disaster could cause health problems.
The Gibraltar Government offered the assistance of the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service.
(Photos Verdemar & RuizBoix)