A fire broke out at the Vinča landfill Saturday evening, covering larger parts of Belgrade with a thick layer of smoke throughout the day.
According to deputy mayor Goran Vesić, the fire has been put under control but the citizens of Belgrade and nearby areas are still posting pictures showing blurred images of the city in smoke and reporting smell of smoke.
The smoke from the fire crossed the Danube, reaching at least three city suburbs. The landfill has been in place since the late 1970s, taking in thousands of tons of all kinds of waste, including construction waste, every day. The authorities have been announcing plans to upgrade waste disposal with energy production and incineration plants at the landfill site but the idea has not gone past the planning stage yet.
The fire was blazing on five of the landfill’s 69 hectares with the authorities saying that there is no longer any danger of it spreading but warning the public to stay indoors with windows closed.
Dragan Djordjevic of the Institute for Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy said that the concentration of toxic materials in the air were eight time higher than allowed by law.
The fire is being tackled by 18 firefighters with six vehicles, the Serbian state TV (RTS) said, adding that the air should clear up by the end of the day.
(Al Jazeera, N1, 09.08.2021)
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