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Massive Fire At French Recycling Plant Engulfs 900 Tonnes Of Lithium Batteries

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Authorities reported on Sunday that a battery recycling plant in southern France had caught fire, engulfing about 900 tonnes of lithium batteries and raising a dense black smoke cloud above the location.

Local councillor Pascal Mazet said in a statement on X that the fire started on Saturday in a warehouse owned by the French recycling group SNAM in Viviez, north of Toulouse.

Lithium batteries are essential to electrical devices, such as electric cars and phones, but they also contain combustible materials that, when combined with the energy they store, can cause them to catch fire when exposed to heat. This poses a risk because the burning of lithium batteries can release harmful substances.

A massive fire that started in January 2023 in a Normandy warehouse holding thousands of lithium batteries and auto parts was put out without inflicting any casualties. According to firefighters, there were no signs of any harmful air pollution being released.

Thick smoke was seen over the Viviez site by French media, and Le Monde reported that up to seventy firefighters were fighting to contain the fire.

Residents in the Aveyron prefecture, which includes Viviez, are not in danger, according to Charles Giusti, a local official speaking on BFM television.

Although the fire was under control, the prefecture said in a statement late at night that it was burning slowly and would likely continue for several hours.

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