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Asbestos fear for residents after huge fire in Birmingham

Hundreds of worried Birmingham residents have been warned to stay inside with their windows and doors firmly shut.

The message comes after a massive fire tore through a factory in the Smethwick area of the city. There are concerns that the resulting cloud of smoke may contain particles of deadly substance asbestos.

A fire service spokesman later declared that the blaze had been upgraded to a level two incident – meaning that fire fighters have to follow strict precautions when tackling it.

Although the cloud is not expected to fall directly onto the city, the spokesman told local residents to stay safe inside, as the potentially lethal cloud made its way across the city sky.

Asbestos is a one of the biggest killers of people working in construction and industrial environments, relating to around 4000 deaths per year due to illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.

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