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200 firefighters tackle huge blaze

A blaze said to be the biggest in London for several years has been brought under control, a spokesman for the London Fire Brigade said.

More than 200 firefighters and 40 fire engines were sent to to the incident at the Hunts Waste Recycling Centre in Chequers Lane in Dagenham, east London, where a plant the size of a football pitch was alight.

But a spokesman said the blaze, about eight miles from the Olympic Park, had been brought under control by around 6pm and fire crews at the incident would be slowly reduced through the night.

He said: "The fire is under control. We are going to be there thought the night, damping down. At the moment we have still got 200 firefighters at the scene but that will be reduced through the night."

Earlier, London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said the blaze was the biggest in the capital for a number of years. He said: "We've not seen a fire of this size in London for several years. It's certainly a dramatic end to the Olympics for the London Fire Brigade.

"That said though, we are still able to attend incidents across the capital and the fire cover we're providing at the Olympic venues has not been affected."

London Fire Brigade said a plume of smoke could be seen across the capital at the height of the incident. A single-storey recycling building, which is around 164ft (50m) by 328ft (100m), was completely ablaze.

Firefighters were called at 1.15pm and crews from Dagenham, Barking, East Ham and surrounding stations were sent to the scene. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

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