Residents of the Italian town of Sannazzaro de' Burgondi, near Pavia, are being ordered to stay indoors following a massive explosion at one of the country’s largest oil refineries, Sputnik International reported.
Officials are currently assessing the situation to determine if an evacuation is necessary, as a toxic cloud of black smoke looms over the the area. There is so much smoke, and it is so dark, that it can reportedly be seen from over six miles away.
There are now fears that the tens of thousands of tonnes of oil may ignite, the Daily Mail reported, as firefighters continued to work to battle the blaze.
"The fire occurred inside refinery Italian ENI energy company occurred around 15:40 (local time), causing a large fireball of tens of meters,” the Italian Department of Civil Protection in the province of Alessandria said in a statement.
Residents who witnessed the explosion quickly posted photos and videos to social media. No injuries have been reported, according to a statement from the Italian oil company.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.