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Toxic plume rises over Belfast as tyres are set ablaze

By Allan Preston

Published 20/04/2016

Smoke rises over the shipyard area of east Belfast as a plane flies past in the distance
Smoke rises over the shipyard area of east Belfast as a plane flies past in the distance

A large plume of toxic smoke blanketed parts of Belfast last night after a pile of tyres intended for a bonfire was torched.

Fire crews responded to the flames on Mountcollyer Street beside Alexandra Park in north Belfast around 8.45pm.

The tyres had been piled illegally on waste ground just a short distance away from houses.

The billowing thick, black smoke was visible across the city and prompted concerned readers to contact the Belfast Telegraph.

UUP councillor David Browne said he suspected the fire had been lit by people from outside the area, as often happens in the run-up to the annual Eleventh Night bonfire celebrations in July.

"Either a rival bonfire or somebody from the opposite side of the community, that's usually the cause of it," he said.

"It's quite silly and dangerous, apart from the pollution aspect of it.

"This is April - it's just a little bit early I think for bonfires."

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