By Oliver Hall
A blaze at a tyres recycling plant, which has sent thick black smoke billowing across County Durham could burn for days.
The thick black cloud was seen across much of the region yesterday, after fire broke out at Envirotyre, where old tyres are broken down before being turned into rubber dust for use in underlay.
Firefighters were called to the blaze on the on Littleburn Industrial Estate, in Langley Moor, County Durham, at about 10.30am on Thursday.
The plume of smoke from the burning rubber rose hundreds of feet into the sky and could be seen as far away as Morpeth, in Northumberland, and on Teesside.
No one was hurt in the blaze, but Envirotyre and neighbouring factories were evacuated.
Tony Grufferty, group manager for the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire’s impact could have been much worse had the wind not blown the smoke away from the East Coast Main Line, only metres away, and residential areas of Langley Moor.
Mr Grufferty said it was too early to establish what had caused the fire, but said an investigation would be held.