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FRANCE

Massive fire closes Paris motorway

Smoke from the fire which started at a textile warehouse in La Courneuve, near Paris
Smoke from the fire which started at a textile warehouse in La Courneuve, near Paris Reuters/Mal Langsdon

The A86 motorway out of Paris was closed until 11.00am Saturday morning as thick smoke continued to billow out of a massive fire in a textile warehouse just outside the French capital. Traffic on the RER B rail link to Charles De Gaulle and Le Bourget airports resumed after being stopped on Friday afternoon.

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As many Parisians prepared to leave for spring holidays, police kept the A86 that heads north-east out of the capital closed between the towns of La Courneuve and Le Bourget on Saturday, causing traffic jams on the A3 motorway.

They opened lanes in one direction at 10.00am and in the other at 11.00am.

The road was closed and RER trains stopped on Friday afternoon when the fire broke out in the 10,000-square-metre shoe and textile warehouse, sending a huge cloud of thick smoke that could be seen and smelt in the centre of Paris and causing the fire services emergency number to be swamped by calls.

There were no victims but the 50 firefighters and 10 fire engines sent to the scene had great difficulty putting out the blaze.

On Saturday morning fires were continuing to burn under rubble from the building's walls and roof, which protected them from water from the firefighters' hoses.

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