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Toxic Smoke is Spewing From an Inferno in Indiana

Officials say the flames could last for days

A massive fire emitting toxic smoke from an eastern Indiana recycling plant described by the city's mayor as a known "fire hazard" has forced evacuation orders for about 2,000 people as the battle to put it out is expected to drag on for days, city and state officials said.

Plastics were among the items that started burning Tuesday at the Richmond plant, and the smoke – a thick, black column that rose from the site – is "definitely toxic," Indiana State Fire Marshal Steve Jones said in a news briefing.

"There is a host of different chemicals that plastics give off when they're on fire, and it's concerning," Jones said Tuesday evening, adding he expects the fire to burn for days.

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