More than 30 people were injured and hundreds evacuated as a Banque de France banknote factory (printing) caught fire in Chamalières. The blaze took more than three hours to extinguish after emergency services escorted the more than 380 staff at the facility to safety.
Firefighters were called to the factory on Wednesday morning as smoke billowed from the factory, residents of Chamalières were told to stay inside and keep their windows closed.
Video footage showed fire crews battling the blaze from all angles as a thick column of black smoke billowed from the roof of the building.
The fire was brought under control within three hours and local authorities noted that no chemicals were affected by the fire. In a statement, regional officials said 34 people were lightly injured in the incident, 10 of whom were taken to hospital for treatment. Two firefighters are among the injured.
At the height of the event, nearly 24 vehicles and 70 firefighters were on site.
Smoke pours from a banknote printing press in France | A Banque de France factory is on fire in the city of #Chamaler. 24 people were reportedly injured. It is not clear if any silver caught fire. (RIA Novosti)
– RT (@RT_com) February 9, 2022
Operated by the Central Bank of France, the Chamalières plant is one of 11 high-security printing works in Europe that produce euro banknotes. At the time of writing this report, cleanup operations were still ongoing at the site.
No information is yet available on how the fire at the Banque de France started with investigations still ongoing into why the factory caught fire. It is understood that the factory has been secured by the internal security forces.
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