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Fire in Rome junkyard explodes gas tanks, spreads dark smoke

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/06/2017
Smoke billows from burnt cars parked inside a junkyard after a fire broke out in Rome, Thursday, June 1, 2017. The fire caused the evacuation of some of the buildings surrounding the area, no victims were reported, Italian firefighters said. (Fabio Frustaci/ANSA Via AP) © The Associated Press Smoke billows from burnt cars parked inside a junkyard after a fire broke out in Rome, Thursday, June 1, 2017. The fire caused the evacuation of some of the buildings surrounding the area, no victims were reported, Italian firefighters said. (Fabio Frustaci/ANSA Via AP)

ROME — A junkyard fire in Rome has spread through scrapped cars, exploding gas tanks and sending a thick, dark plume of smoke through the northeastern quarter of the Italian capital. There have been no reports of injuries.

Authorities said they evacuated three apartment buildings in the area Thursday afternoon as the blaze quickly spread through cars that were stacked one on top of the other for demolition. At least 50 cars set to be scrapped were involved.

Firefighters said the blaze was contained and they were working to suppress it. The cause wasn't immediately known.

The huge blaze brought traffic to a standstill. A city official, Pinuccia Montanari, said the fire demonstrated the dangers of having demolition yards inside the city limits.

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