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Friday, 12 April, 2002, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Picture gallery: North Shields chemical fire
Residents have been warned to stay indoors after a number of explosions at the Distillex chemical recycling plant on Tyneside.

Smoke and flames
Witnesses reported a number of explosions

Plume of smoke
The plume of smoke could be seen from 15 miles away

Fire at Distillex plant
The fire was described by the fire brigade as "massive"

Fire brigade at scene of fire
The fire brigade sent ten appliances to the scene

Policeman at scene of fire
A half mile exclusion zone was imposed by police

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