RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 people have been admitted to hospital after a fertilizer warehouse caught fire in a Brazilian small town, local authorities said Wednesday.
The fire, emitting a toxic cloud of smoke over some six neighborhoods, started late Tuesday at a warehouse in Sao Francisco do Sul, Santa Catarina state, where as many as 40 tons of fertilizer ammonium nitrate were stored.
The state government first said the smoke was non-toxic, but later admitted the smoke was lightly toxic and moderately dangerous, causing irritation of the skin, eyes, mucous membranes and the throat.
The affected neighborhoods were evacuated, school classes were suspended and shops shut down, and the highway leading to Sao Francisco do Sul was closed.
Some 200 firefighters were still working to contain the fire late Wednesday.
The incident led Gov. Raimundo Colombo to declare a state of emergency in the small town.